Using a reflector on an overcast day

Man in a coat

It was an overcast day, and the light was not very interesting. I thought I’d try a quick self portrait because I read than an overcast day will not cause any harsh shadows, and the clouds act like a giant softbox. Well this is true, but the light os also lacking something. There is no punch. I decided that this would be a good chance to try out my reflector. I placed the silver side of the reflector pointing outwards towards me. The difference was incredible. It really does help the subject stand out, and makes a huge difference.

I shall be sure to bring my reflector and use it next time I’m taking portraits under an overcast sky.

Norcliffe Chapel

Norcliffe Chapel
Norcliffe Chapel

With spring on it’s way to the northern hemisphere, the changes all around are quite remarkable. The sun is shining brighter and longer, and it is getting noticeably warmer. Make no mistake, winter is still hanging around, but spring is slowly pushing it out of the way. We took advantage of the early morning sunshine that has been all too absent this winter, and had a short trip to Norcliffe Chapel in Styal, Cheshire, and the woods behind it.

Cross on top of the chapel
Cross on top of the chapel


Tree roots

Tree Stump

Wood Nymph


Back on the Stranger trail

Stranger 40 of 100 – Batu

A while ago I started a popular photo project called 100 Strangers. The idea is that you take a portrait of 100 strangers that you meet in life. You have to ask their permission to take the photograph and upload it to the group. There were various reasons I decided to take on this project.

The challenge
Readers of this blog will have seen pictures of Lego, the night sky, landscapes, flowers and other objects that never refuse to have their photograph taken. A stranger is just as likely to say no as yes, or possibly more so.
Pictures of people do have a certain appeal. We are interested in the lives of others.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone
I do enjoy street photography, but I have a certain amount of anonymity with this. I can hide (in plain sight) and have no reason to approach or interact with people other than to steal an photograph as they pass by. With the strangers project I have to interact, I have to speak to people, and I have to ask permission for the photo and to upload it. There is nowhere to hide.
If I do get the chance to take portraits of people I need to be able to set up the camera and the shot without thinking about it. If I’ve take pictures of 100 strangers then I will have had 100 mini unplanned photo sessions which should stand me in good stead when a pre-planned portrait session comes up.

I knew this project would take me a long time to complete. I had no intention of rushing through it in a couple of months. I need to take my time to learn from each stranger, let the lesson sink in, and move on from there.

Of late I have been a little lethargic with the project. Too much time was passing between each stranger. I lost my bottle. That was all up until this week.

I am very glad to report that I am back on track with the project. I met a very interesting young man called Batu, got to know him, asked if he’d let me take his picture, explained the project, and took the shot. This makes me happy. That’s 40 down and 60 to go.