Photoshoot: At-Bristol through the lens
For the last few months we have been building the new website for At-Bristol Science Centre. They asked us if we would conduct a photo shoot to coincide with the new website launch, giving them a fresh batch of imagery to use - naturally, we said “Yes”. It made perfect sense as we were behind the design and build, and have a strong understanding of the type of photography needed to have maximum impact on the image-led website.
I worked closely with the team at At-Bristol to put together a brief. We had a lot of shots to get through and models were being hired so time was quite precious. Prior to the shoot I did a quick walk through with them to discuss what was required and get a feel for the space I would be shooting in. After that we collaborated on a detailed shot list outlining who and what was required for each image.
On the day of the shoot we had a quick meet and greet and swiftly began setting up. The biggest challenge was light. It can be pretty dark inside the science centre so in some cases I had to push the camera to the limit and more often than not the shot would involve a moving subject in low light levels. The trick was knowing when to turn a negative into a positive; using the low light levels to create an atmosphere, or to use subject motion blur to create an action shot.
A good example of this would be this shot (below) of the Water Works exhibit. For this we turned off the main lighting but kept the spot lighting on which darkened the background and emphasised the exhibit. With the camera set up on a tripod I captured a 2.5 second exposure to get the smooth motion of the water wheel. Then in the edit I could draw out the contrast and isolate differences in white balance to create even more impact.
It was great to have Christine and Nicole from At-Bristol on hand to assist along the way. They helped the shoot tick along smoothly and their energy meant that everyone involved kept up momentum with a smile on their face (a cheeky choccy bar might have helped too). The models were fantastic; big thanks to Mustard Models. I would always recommend models for this kind of shoot. They will always have the patience required for getting the right shot and simply know how to pose in a natural manner, which is not easy!
- Canon 6D
- 24-70mm f2.8
- 50mm f1.2
- Polarising filter (to get the freezing water shots and reduce reflections on exhibits)
- Reflector and a couple of stand alone lights with diffusers
The 6D works great in low light levels and can be pushed to 3200 ISO without too much loss of quality. Combined with the 50mm f1.2 the light wasn’t really an issue, but I had to do most of the shoot on the 24-70mm f2.8. This is still a great lens, but not as fast and I had to use a polarising filter for most of the shoot as there was a lot of reflective surfaces around the exhibits.
All in all it was a great shoot and we got some really nice photos for the new site.