Burlesque Big Sister/Brother project - Part 2 : Yippee Ikay

I was encouraged to join a group on Facebook, the Burlesque Big Sister/ Brother project, where I could give something back to the community that I have been a part of for a good number of years now. This year I offered a photo shoot per month, winners are selected and I contact them for a date to shoot. 

So next up we have Yippee Ikay!

For this shoot I decided to go back to somewhere I had not been to in a very long time, The Chase Nature Reserve in Dagenham. We had a short walk to the entrance which was very overgrown, I used to live close by to the area, my father used to take myself and my older sister on walks there so I remembered a lot of the topography along with the gravel pits and where the rabbit warrens are situated. 

We walked around taking shots here and there, part of an old building was close to the entrance as well as a glade area where I was set upon by small black ants as I was trying to get a low shot.

After the fight with the ants we walked further west, deeper into the reserve. I recalled there was an iron bridge crossing the District Tube Line, and we headed in that direction. We found that some of the area had been fenced off so we had to walk around it and through a tight pathway with stinging nettles on either side.

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The bridge is an excellent location if you like to grunge up your shots. The metal has a lot of texture to it which Lightroom can bring out using the clarity tool. It made the stairs look very rusted and worn a lot more than it actually was.

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In the above shot I reversed the idea of using the clarity slider. This made the walls a lot smoother and I like the lines of perspective taken your eye to the center with Yippee Ikay breaking the center up. We spent some time on the bridge, dodging the odd dog walker or two and taking a few more shots. 

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On the way back we found a field of horses. Most on them walked off when we approached but one stayed to say hello. The horse did not turn out to be much of a diva and posed very well once it was fed some quality grass. Ours was much greener on our side of the fence.

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I was a little apprehensive about the location of this shoot. Coming up on the bridge I recalled that I hadn't been at this location in close the 30 years. This shoot brought back a lot of memories for me. I am sure the ants wont forget my elbow crashing through their nest in a hurry!

Think I will leave it another 30 years then I might go back again.

Burlesque Big Sister/Brother project - Part 1 : Ruby Panther

I was encouraged to join a group on Facebook, the Burlesque Big Sister/ Brother project, where I could give something back to the community that I have been a part of for a good number of years now. This year I offered a photo shoot per month, winners are selected and I contact them for a date to shoot. 

So first up we have Ruby Panther! 

We met up on an early Sunday morning at Monument station, headed south towards Lower Thames Street for a few street shots above the traffic then headed towards the south end of Cousin Lane. This allows access to the North bank of the Thames. With a bit of luck the tide was out! That's why I choose an early start, it would not have looked good if the pictures showed a soaking wet model floating out the meet one of the passing boats.

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Along this bank, just by the stairs is a cargo hull. I'm not sure what it is called but it was very rusted.. I pushed on it and it did not fall on me so I judged it to be safe. Ruby had on a flowery dress and hat which was in stark contrast to the red hair so I made sure the hair was brought out in the shots.

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The sun was blazing hot so we took a few shots with Ruby gazing out towards the Southwark bridge in the distance. We then retreated to the other side where it was cooler to get a shot between the scull and the  river wall. Ruby had to hold her head up a little here as the sun would create shadows from the holes in the hat, artistic but not what I was looking for.

Further west from the hull, past the bridge, is a small section of tunnels holding up the building above. We moved into here and took some shots using the flash. The shot with the red dress is my favorite from this shoot.

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After a quick drink we moved to the south bank and found our way to another bridge and took this shot with the blue dress using my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens. This is an odd composition where the first third of the shot is taken up by steel girders with Ruby in the middle, then more girders but I think the shot works as the position of the girders should draw you eye in towards Ruby.

This was a successful shoot! I enjoyed the company and the walk around in the blazing hot sunshine.