Last month I had an amazing time photographing Australian model, Mimi Elashiry in Paris for the cover of my fourth book, Portraits After The Shot.
When I’m planning a shoot, I always have a specific image in my minds eye. Paris for me is grainy black and white images like those of one of my photographic Idols, Henri Cartier-Bresson and I really wanted to capture that “old school” feel and look of black and white photography.
I wanted to be able to move around Paris easily, and quickly and so this meant I needed to keep gear to a minimum.
This trip I decided to see if I could go back to shooting “old school” which basically means I worked with available light, a reflector and no tripod.
This setup was at Sacre Coeur at 8.30am. I photographed Mimi in open shade and positioned an assistant with a light reflector at approximately 45 degrees to Mimi’s left side to bounce some light back into Mimi’s face.
I chose to shoot at 8.30am because early morning light is very soft and perfect for fashion and portrait shoots, and I also wanted to avoid the tourists.
This image has been processed using Lightroom 5 “Basic” setting in the “Develop” module
Here are the settings I used.
- Reduce exposure: I reduced this by 1 stop because my image overall was overexposed.
- Decrease highlights: I wanted to bring back detail in my highlights so I decreased this by 100.
- Convert image to Black and White: To achieve that Cartier-Bresson look that I love.
- Decrease blacks, increase clarity and contrast: I adjusted these settings until I achieved the look I was going for. If you are not a fan of “grunge” don’t use the clarity slider, instead try increasing contrast.
My ideal image has a strong black tone and detail in the highlights. In this instance I’ve allowed the highlights on some buildings in the background to blow out.