I’m always looking for new portrait locations, but now that the British summer appears to be in full swing, with only 3 or 4 rain filled days per week, I’ve begun searching a little further away from home than I normally shoot. Still not that far away, within a 30-40 minute drive, but something a little different from the locations I’ve been using in the area so far.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate to have the surroundings available to me that I have almost within walking distance. They’re fantastic locations that seem to change every time I visit; Something new has grown, something old has died, a tree’s been uprooted in the wind, an area’s been cleared or planted – which leads to infinite shooting possibilities.
Over the past couple of years, the more I’ve been photographing people, the more ideas and images I’ve had brewing and evolving in my head for scenes I’d like to shoot. That list has grown rather substantially now, and each of those ideas depends on having a particular location with a certain feel, and a subject with just the right look to achieve the results I’m looking for.
Somehow I keep managing to get drawn to rivers and various other bodies of water, so it’s no surprise really that waterfalls comprise an element of several ideas on my list, but finding one with just the right look, that isn’t flooded with tourists and passersby, as well as safe for both people and equipment, has been much more difficult task than I’d envisioned. After a reconnaissance trip a month or so ago with fellow photographer Martin Rathbone (the jolly chap in the image at the top of this post), I finally managed to find one such waterfall.
With the weather being what it was yesterday (mostly cloudy with a tiny bit of sun, but not yet raining) we decided to venture back with an array of equipment to do some lighting tests and start to refine how those final images might look. The first time we visited we only stuck around for 10 or 15 minutes to get a few quick shots on the iPhone using available light. This time we were there for about 3 hours or so and managed to get a lot of testing done, and updated portraits of each other.
The waterfall flows into a pool approximately 12-15ft in diameter, which continues on into the shallow river, flanked by trees and rockfaces, with beautifully moss covered boulders breaking the flow of the water and we’ve barely begun to explore more than the very immediate surroundings.
So, I have found one of my ideal locations. Luckily this location will manage to satisfy at least 4 or 5 of the ideas on my list, but the search for a person or persons with just the right look to complete those pictures still continues.