2020 is nearing the end and it’s been a year dominated by a word few people had heard of; Coronavirus. It is also a year where being creative and making pictures was so important.

In March it was clear that the word that would dominate the year was having effects all over the world. I received a message from Becky asking if I was free for a shoot as she had an idea she wanted to work on. Less than 24 hours later we were in the studio shooting. Chillingly it was the weekend before the UK went in to a national lockdown, but we didn’t know it at that time.

  • EOS R
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • 1/125s, f/11, ISO 100

In the messages before the shoot, one thing that Becky mentioned implanted itself in my mind; “it isn’t going to be pretty”. That focussed my brain in to choosing much harsher lighting, deliberately going for contrast. It was time for the elinchrom maxi spot reflector to be put to use from most of the way across the studio.

  • EOS R
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • 1/125s, f/11, ISO 100

From the initial set of shots, I created some stark results, and in the one above I even added a lot of grain with Lightroom and to me it works. By the time I was working on the shots, we were in the country wide lockdown. We had shot with the aim to get these images published. So I created an account with Kavyar and we submitted a set of images to Féroce magazine. Lockdown endured, and then the message came back that we were going to be in Mordant magazine, another title created by the same team. We thought that would be it, but a few more weeks and we were told the set would also be in Féroce’s lockdown special issue.

  • EOS R
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • 1/125s, f/9, ISO 100

Our second part of the shoot kept the contrast, and I took the opportunity to use the the end of a few rolls of background paper. I’m not sure why but I had a couple of brightly coloured rolls with just about 6 feet of paper on them. Ideal for hacking at with a penknife, and then pose with. I still think of these second set of shots as more the “escape from lockdown” series. They aren’t pretty, exactly as intended, but what a way to shoot just before the week that the UK changed like never before.

See you tomorrow…