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  • Ashley Cochrane

Netherhampton Shoot Journal - 1st November 2020

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

I did not expect to find much here as roman roads are notoriously difficult to locate, next to none survive in their old form at least. And this was deemed to be true of this location. So, I was left with a similar situation to the Elham Valley shoot where there was little available subject to work with. What I did set myself up for then, was another experimental shoot to help me understand what I wanted stylistically from this project. I did not want to give up on shooting in overcast conditions, I had always shot in these conditions for my project work, but now I was experimenting in black and white, all the benefits of shooting on cloudy skies were lost, most notably the soft muted colours which made my Bossenden project more impactful. But shooting in mid to late afternoon was not wielding much success.

I tried a change of tactic, I noticed on my weather app that we were due to have mist the following morning, so I needed a location I could get to quickly, so I chose Netherhampton. I knew there was nothing there of interest in terms of subject, but if I could find something to shoot where I could compare lighting effects in misty conditions then I would take that as a positive learning outcome. As this was an experimental shoot, I opted to shoot on my phone as I wanted to note the advantages and disadvantages to phone shooting. With the Huawei P30 Pro, it has a camera which offers resolution that can best many of today’s competitive DSLR’s, it offers the ability to shoot in RAW also which means I can use it as a comprehensive shooting tool for picking up alternative shots. Ideally, I want to use it for stock photography, meaning I can improve my workflow by using my DSLR for project and commercial work, but use my phone for more stock-based work that I can shoot and quickly upload to stock websites without the hassle of complicated workflow.

Onto the shoot, I was not surprised when I arrived at my location and there was little to nothing there in terms of subject matter save for a few electricity pylons. But I noticed the criss-crossing of the overhead wires provided some interesting depth and perspective. With just my phone to hand I toyed with the dynamic feel and took some potentially interesting shots. It was still very dark at this point, but my phones automated exposure systems seemed to be doing a better job of monitoring the exposure than I was doing manually with the Fuji. The phone camera does something interesting with the lighting in each shot, applying a soft vignette to the raw files. I researched this but could not seem to find why this was happening or how to stop it, but I enjoyed this effect, which seemed more emphatic when dropped into black and white in post.

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