Monday, 27 February 2012

London Fashion Week AW12 - February 2012

This February I had the privilege of being invited by Canon to shoot the Tuesday of London Fashion Week. 
Having only shot a couple of small fashion shows before I was quite nervous about squeezing in between the seasoned pro's in the photographer pit and producing a good documentary of the shows! 
Throughout the day I was fortunate enough to use the Canon 1D MkIV with a selection of lenses. For the first show, David Koma, I started out with one of my favourite lenses, the familiar 70-200mm F/2.8 II L, which was a great lens to use for a catwalk as you could zoom in to get full length shots when the model walks onto the runway but also have the option of a head and shoulders shot when the model gets close, or still take a 3/4 or full length photo by zooming out to 70mm. 
Something that also helped was the realisation the lighting was even enough to have everything set to manual and the colour temperature could stay the same throughout the day which always helps keep the continuity in the images nicely.

For the next show, Holly Fulton, I decided to take the new 400mm F/2.8 L out for a trial, having felt the weight of its predecessor I can't say that it was heavy but holding it still without a monopod for 25 minutes is definitely a workout for the arms! 
Being a prime lens this meant I could only stick to that focal length but it took some stunningly sharp images so it was certainly worth it. 
I could just about get a full length image of the models if I took a photo of them as soon as they walked onto the runway, the lens was great for close up shots and the main attraction in using it was to get a nice depth of field whilst having enough focusing space to get one models face nicely in focus during the line up at the end of the show!

Next up was the Ashish show, which was really fun and loved the fact that there was a lot of details on the backs of the designs that really kept the photographers on their toes! I decided to test out the 24mm F/3.5 II L Tilt-shift lens, though after a quick test we decided it would probably be best to get used to the lens for a bit longer before using it to shoot a show as it is manual focus and had a lot more options than the lenses I'm used to (shifting the plane of focus etc!) It definitely looks like a fun lens to use in the future though! Here is one of my test images from that lens:

I quickly changed over to the 8-15mm F/4.0 L Fisheye lens to catch the Ashish show which give me some really different images and helped to capture a wider shot which will hopefully help to show what actually being at the show is like! 

For my final show of the day, Aminaka Wilmont, I decided to use the 70-200mm F/2.8 again as I did find it the best all-round lens to use, though I think my best results were probably from the 400mm F/2.8! The only aspect of this show that I didn't anticipate before was that the lighting changed - so only the lights in the closest third of the runway were on full power, so consequently the exposure settings I set for one part of the runway would be different to the closest part which made things a bit harder, after realising this I just shot the girls when they were in the well lit area! 

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