So it’s been a while since I have posted on here and that’s partly because I have been working on my new website which I will be ready to share soon. since the last post, I reached my goal of 100 strangers in April and here is the story behind the shot:
After a little over 2 years I have finally hit the 100!!!!!!
My very first stranger was on the 7th February 2013 and it took me around 4 hours to summon up the courage just to ask someone. My 100th took me a little over 3 hours. So things haven’t changed much, but now the time is because I am more particular about what I want.
I had spotted this location a long time ago. It is the Greenwich Tunnel and looks so cool that I knew I had to shoot a stranger here. However this was going to be difficult – firstly in needed to be lit, secondly there is lot of footfall which means its full of people, thirdly the area is full of tourists meaning that there could be a language barrier and also that this is not one of the coolest spots in town. Finally, the best spot for approaching strangers was outside the tunnel, I didn’t know how receptive someone might be to me asking them to follow me into a tunnel 🙂
However, I felt the stranger gods would be with me today and after the aforementioned 3 hours my luck was in. I saw George sitting there and thought he would be a great stranger. The only problem was he was by himself and I needed 2 people (the second person needed to hold a flash). Soon, his friend Yola arrived. They hugged and sat down while Yola finished her drink. I sat down next to them and Yola flashed me a smile. I knew that they were going into the tunnel and so I just had to wait. it wasn’t long before they got upto go and I made my move.
I approached them and explained the concept to them and they both said yes without hesitation. I explained what I wanted and we walked down the tunnel together. As we walked we had a little chat and George asked me what stranger I was on, I said I would tell them later.
The reason for that was that I didn’t want to jinx it and I also was going to try something I hadn’t tried before. As mentioned above, I was going to have to light this shot but I didn’t want this to be on camera flash. Not only that but I wanted to mimic the light coming from the lights in the tunnel. I therefore used a gridded flash of camera in line with the lights that you see in the shot. Yola was brilliant in helping out as my assistant.
I also wanted to challenge myself with using coloured gels to get a more dramatic shot. I set my camera up with a white balance of tungsten and then used a full cut of CTO on the flash to ensure that George’s face didn’t go blue too.
Given all the knew things I was trying I was far from sure that it would work. However, from the very first go it came out well and most importantly George looked great in it. I showed Yola and George and they really liked the shots too. At this point I told them “You are my 100th!”
We headed down slowly and took shots at various spots. This turned out the best. Although I preferred the light in one of the others this one had a better look overall.
Once you we got to the other side side of the tunnel I thanked the guys and got a picture of us together as a memento to myself. I also asked the guys there happiest moment. George said at first it was his wedding day, but then he changed his mind and said it was getting engaged. Yola’s was her niece being born.
So there you have it my 100 strangers project is complete and I could not have wished for a better “couple” to be my 100th. Thank you so much George and Yola for being a part of my project.
Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/groups/100strangers/”>100 Strangers Flickr Group Page</a>
Connect with me on my facebook page: <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/ShootingTheStreets” rel=”nofollow”>Shooting the Streets</a>