Friday, April 13, 2012

52/52 Ashley Hirst

To say this last entry is long overdue is a massive understatement. Suffice it to say that recently my several personal projects have fallen by the wayside in favor of more time-sensitive work related ventures. Ok, enough excuses, let's wrap this project up.

Ashley Hirst was born in the UK but moved to Germany as a baby. She lived there for 7 years, and has ever since been a world traveler. She graduated last year with honors and moved to London to pursue her career. She works in the advertising industry currently, but hopes to move somewhere in Europe and start a family.

We met Ashley while hanging out with some friends at a bar in London. She and her friend Tess were extremely welcoming and friendly towards us. We all departed that evening and Ashley, being the incredible guide that she is, took us to the most amazing late night salt beef stand. I didn't even know what salt beef was (corned beef-ish?), but it was incredible. As we departed that evening, she insisted that we phone her the next day so she could show us around her neighborhood. We did, and she showed us around her area. We had a traditional English Sunday roast, and went shopping in the street markets. All in all, our serendipitous encounter with Ashley was one of the most fortunate things to happen to us during our trip. Needless to say, should she ever decide to venture across the pond and pay a visit to Chicago, I certainly look forward to being able return the favor and show her around our fair city. 

At the end of our second day hanging out with Ashley, I convinced her that she should volunteer herself as the subject for my final portrait. We were in the Old Spitalfields Market, which we used as our location. The sun was starting to set and the light was streaming through the gate, so we quickly set up. I used a single flash, an SB-600 with a silver-over-white reflective umbrella. I positioned the key high camera left and used the sun as an edge on Ashley's right side. 

Above is the final retouched image. Here's a copy of the photo with only basic processing and no spot retouching:

The differences are subtle. Obviously Ashley doesn't need any help from photoshop, but subtle parts of the rest of the frame definitely needed a little adjustment. I subtly tweaked the color temperature of the background, lending to more of a warm sunset feel. I removed my reflection from Ashley's glasses. I also slightly brightened the front of her sweater, as I wasn't able to use a fill light. All in all, it's pretty subtle, but necessary. 

Strobist Info:
SB-600 camera left through silver-over-white umbrella with 1/2 CTO gel

Camera Settings:
1/125 f/4 at ISO 100
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

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