Making of... Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Making of… Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014It seems a tad premature, thinking about next years’ Spring/Summer season during such a cold and damp May, but deadlines are deadlines…

We had a slightly shorter shoot than usual for this season, partly due to the fact the client  still hasn’t been able to use all of the images from that they loved from the previous shoots. It’s all swings and roundabouts, as we also have a bunch of other shoots coming up for Sprayway.. but more about those nearer the time.

This was my second season shooting with Sprayway’s new Marketing Head, Thomas. We were keen to have some continuity with the models, so Nicky Yates and Neil Ovenell were back on location with us. It’s great to have that history with client and models; everyone knows how things are going be organised and what to expect from the shoot. Happily this year we were joined by Thomas’ assistant, Stuart. The fact that he happens to a super-fit fanatical fell runner was more than a little helpful when it came to lugging large bags of clothing onto remote fells.Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

We had pretty full schedule to fit into three days. We did a recce of some great locations around the Eastern side of Ullswater. We had a plan. We had Plan-B scenarios worked out, in case of really bad weather… Which turned out to be a very good idea.

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Our initial planned day on the higher fells was cut very short by some seriously dull clouds and high winds. Which did at least allow for some convincing  bad weather waterproof shots.

The next day featured an improbably early start to try and finish the mountain shots before the weather closed in again. The start was dull, but the sun was still well hidden behind the hills. The Met Office’s cloud forecast maps showed a big break in the cloud heading our way, so we carried on up the fell and found the right spot. Rays were breaking through as the sun came up, beautiful patches of light were drifting across the valley floor and the mountains on the horizon. And not a single stray beam of sunlight was coming within a mile of the models…

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I’ve spoken before about being reluctant to mess with what are essentially landscape images by introducing artificial light on these kinds of shoots, but there are exceptions to every rule. The valley was perfectly lit and, if one very obstinate cloud would just drift a tiny bit further we would get a perfect ray spilling onto the fell and catching the models in a fantastic cross light. I’m good at waiting, but the bad weather was closing in fast, so I broke out a speedlight and positioned it on a carbon-based light stand (Thomas) uphill from the models. I shot a couple of exposure tests, tweaked positions and just as I had a fairly reasonable simulation of one of the shots I had envisaged… the sun came out. Always the way. Less than ten minutes later we were hurrying back down the hill with the rain right on our heels.

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

This year we also had some items to shoot for the all-weather urban/rural crossover Lifewear range. We’d decided on a seaside location as great place to show off the advantages of nicely cut Goretex, and headed out to the beach and cliffs at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast. The weather forecast was again spot on; we arrived in dull grey drizzle and cold winds. And we waited. And we shot some windswept beach scenes. And we waited again.

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

Patience was rewarded with some fantastic afternoon light breaking over the beach as the tide went out. All according to plan…

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

 

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

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Looking through the shot list I’m not entirely sure when we managed to fit everything into such a tight schedule. Apparently we did and as well the Mountain and Lifewear ranges we covered the Hill and Trail range…

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

 

Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014Sprayway Spring/Summer 2014

can find more of my personal favourites from the Mountain, Trail and Lifewear shoots herehere and here