I was tipped off about an excellent location for a shoot by a photographer friend who recommended Balcombe Viaduct in Sussex. It's a well known beauty spot and favoured location for photographers as we found out when we headed over there on a sunny Sunday afternoon for a picnic and photo session!! The weather held up rather too well and I could have done with a few more clouds for the landscape pics of the viaduct itself. The strong sun made little difference to the portrait photographs because I was using my new Yongnuo flash and portable soft box combination on wireless flash triggers for most of those anyway. I drafted in my usual two models - my wife and daughter although my wife hadn't expected to be part of the shoot and so didn't have much make-up with her!!
I think the truth is that my daughter with her unblemished youth can get away without much if any make-up at all but as people get older make-up can often help to cover skin blemishes and highlight the eyes which can add a little more quality to the finished result. It has prompted me to write a pre-shoot briefing for customers though making some recommendations on make-up, hair and clothes and that can only be a help when arranging future shoots.
The shoot went well and I am pleased there are some great pictures - the viaduct built in 1841 for the main London to Brighton line to cross the Ouse Valley makes a stunning backdrop for portrait pictures. The flash and softbox performed superbly and I was impressed that the Yongnuo 560 III with its guide number of 58 had enough power to match the strong sunlight that afternoon and offset the otherwise hard shadows that could result.
Rhiannon has achieved mastery of the pensive pose and I feel fortunate in having such an excellent model to work with! I wasn't initially keen on the dungarees but I think they give a suitably industrial feel to a location which so strongly reflects the industrial revolution and the coming of the railways.
Keywords: Balcombe, Sussex, West, portrait, railways, session, viaduct
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