Isn’t it so often the way that we are aiming for perfection with our photography? What if you just totally let go of that concept and allowed yourself to actively seek imperfection? Might that be you at your most creative? As Susie Olzen says when she talks about creating this wonderful shot, workshops are a great time to free yourself up and experiment, when there is no client to consider and no pressure.

She signed up for Neil Thomas Douglas‘s shoot at our Thrive conference so that she could feel more prepared for shooting city weddings. There can be very different challenges shooting in a busy urban scene and in the end what she took away from Neil was learning to embrace that and not only include it in her composition but use it as elements that enhanced the frame.

This shot oozes cool, if it was a film still I would buy a ticket to go see the full feature.

Sony A7iii | Sony 35mm 1.8 | f/22 | 1/10| ISO 100

own preset

What Susie Said…

This was during a shoot with Neil on day 2 of Glasgow ‘Thrive’. My first wedding of the year is a city elopement and I was needing a wee confidence boost and some fresh ideas! My heart usually sinks when there’s heavy traffic, road works and scaffolding all over the place so I want to learn to use it, rather than fear it!

Neil’s talk was all about making good images in less than perfect environments so I signed up to see how he puts it into practise.

I love playing with a slower shutter speed and workshops are the perfect opportunity to experiment a wee bit.

We were waiting for Lena and Patrick to cross the road and I was waiting for a break in the traffic to get a clean shot but it wasn’t happening, so unless you have the photoshop wizardry of Gary Thermo you might as well embrace whatever is in the frame!

I knew I wanted the shutter speed at about 1/10sec to show the movement of the car and, as it was a really bright sunny day, I knew a super low ISO and high aperture were needed to allow this.

I took a few frames but liked this one best because the car looks like a 1960’s hover Cadillac and Lena has 1960 style sunglasses on! A wee black and white edit with some grain was used to add to the vintage feels. I was going to crop in on the left to make the image a little less busy but then noticed the poster is of James McAvoy who is from Glasgow (and is BRILLIANT!) so that was nice and fitting!

I also like how the lines on the road lead your eye to Lena and Patrick, and they are framed a wee bit by the balcony. That was totally done on purpose. 😏