Happy New Year and welcome to 2021, I truly hope for a a better world this year. However I still have a few photos to share from 2020… when being creative and making pictures was so important.

I am at a loss to choose just one or even a couple of shots today. In the summer the UK lockdown was eased meaning you could meet people outside in the sunshine.  I arranged a shoot with My Little Goth, a local model who I’d never worked with before. I’d seen her pictures online and decided I wanted to photograph her colourful gothic look.

  • EOS R
  • EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
  • 1/800s, f/2, ISO 100

Right from that first shoot, I discovered my understanding of the gothic look really was not even close to what I captured. Editing the shots I loved her perfect camera ready make-up, and her kind gentle soul with a willingness help us create amazing photos was  captivating.

  • EOS R6
  • EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
  • 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 100

It was quite clear from the first shoot that I would need to make more photos with her. We met up at Penguin Stu6ios and promptly filled the space with smoke for a pre-Halloween witchy kind of look. Here I learnt that the EOS R6 can focus even when I can’t see my subject across a smoke filled studio. I was beginning to think she’d bewitched my camera 🙂

  • EOS R6
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 100

The camera never failed to lock focus on the green-haired girl across the studio, even when shooting with a black net fabric over the front of the lens for a soft focus look.

  • EOS R6
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • 1/250s, f/4, ISO 100

And then she wasn’t the green-haired goth, but her revised appearance still drew the gaze of the camera and lights. This one using a horizontal strip box on the left side of the frame as the main light. Two more Speedlites with small soft boxes on the right provided a touch of illumination from behind and colour from the front. Gone was the green hair, but purple and blue looked rather amazing too.

  • EOS R6
  • RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
  • 1/125s, f/6.3, ISO 100

I managed to get my hands on the RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens for just five days, a lens that I thought would be my first RF lens purchase. A few days before the lens arrived the UK government announced changes that would see us locked down and studios closed from 5th November. On the 4th of November we were back in Penguin Stu6ios for a shoot with the loan lens. You can see what else I shot during that lockdown here. Many thanks to the people at www.hireacamera.com for the loan.

  • EOS R6
  • RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
  • 1/125s, f/2.5, ISO 100

A great way to test lenses for portraits. Her makeup is so precise, and the bewitching of the camera is complete. This shot above is the very last portrait shot I took with the loaned RF 85mm F2, it was the day before lockdown 2.0 and that meant no more model shoots until December.

  • EOS R6
  • EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
  • 1/125s, f/4, ISO 400

Soon the calendar was in to December, time to shoot again. On this occasion we opted for more relaxed shots, a favourite comfortable jumper, fluffy socks, and her Nintendo Switch the ideal prop. Her instagram fans loved the shot and it became her most liked picture of 2020 with over 2,700 likes.

  • EOS R6
  • EF 135mm f/2L USM
  • 1/80s, f/2.8, ISO 200

A final evening outdoor shot, lit with flash. The addition of the dark green wig and her outfit was an ideal test of the EOS R6 and focussing in the dark. For some of this set, I had to use a torch to help the camera focus, it was so dark I couldn’t even see my camera bag on the ground and nearly tripped over it more than once.

Today is the start of 2021, and I am so looking forward to days where I can freely make photos with people again.

See you tomorrow…

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag