This blog post shares the story of the image of a lady with umbrella crossing over the Albert Bridge in London.
It was one moody afternoon when I went out to scout for a great location for a wedding I was going to photograph at Chelsea area (near to the Albert bridge). I didn’t have any plans or vision, as I normally do when going out for street photography. I grabbed my tools and went out with the hope that I will be drawn to find that perfect spot for taking photographs for the lovely couple who hired me for their wedding day photoshoots.
As I was making my way to Albert Bridge, the weather changed quickly and drastically, but for photographers, different weather conditions can be positive, productive and a creative event, as it turned out to be in my case that evening.
By the time I arrived the lights on the bridge were already on and it took me just under 20 minutes to position myself in the right spot as if I was drawn to it by the sounds of the wind guiding me to that very location. And surprisingly, standing there observing the scenery, it did in fact seem like the perfect position. Because I had a very good view of the bridge, as you may know that taking photos of such large structures can be very challenging, and on the other hand, we as photographers all have our own unique creative ways to interpret and capture the beauty of any given object. Its just that one fine detail which can really highlight the story in an image.
Next thing, after I found my spot, I carefully looked through the viewfinder of my camera to work out the composition for my shot. I was using my old Canon 5D, which was the sort of camera I needed in this situation as I didn’t bring my tripod with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. The combination of my equipment provided me with all the flexibility and support I needed in that particular evening. My camera had very good high ISO performance and quality, and the lens provided me with very flexible focal range, which really helped me in compositing the frame.
My camera settings were as follow:
- Exposure / Shutter speed: 1/180 sec.
- Aperture: F/4.0
- ISO: 640
- Aperture priority: Partial metering.
- Shooting in RAW – as always.
Usually, in that sort of situations, I do not use the Partial metering mode instead adjust the camera using manual settings once I have established the right exposure. What prevented me of switching to manual mode was that everything happened so fast, because while I was establishing the frame I noticed a lady with an umbrella crossing the bridge and entering my frame in a perfect way, so in order to make sure I have the image captured perfectly I stood in a very firm position fully relaxed using my posture as a tripod, and kept shooting till the lady come out of the frame. By the way, I encourage you to do the same if you find a location with great potential, simply stand firm and hold steady while taking pictures until the right element comes along and connects with your overall composition.
And this is how one of my favorite images that I captured came to be, without planning, but just being at the right place at the right time. The rest was up to my artistic and photographic vision, to embrace the opportunity and capture the moment in its beautifully natural way just as it happens.
So what’s some of your photography experiences, how do you capture the story of an image? Share your ideas, thoughts and experiences by using the comment form below. And thank you for sharing this post with others.