I am in the process of re-thinking my post-processing workflow and I need to test and time my new speed-editing shortcuts by applying them to a large number of raw images from the past portrait and documentary photography sessions. These dramatic light urban portraits are such a re-edit.

The photos were taken at a disused Norwich car park with Charlotte, then a graphic design student, and her friend. I had just returned from a 5-day workshop with Jerry Ghionis, inspired by our natural light work with models  on the streets of London where Jerry demo’d his dramatic use of hard light and shadows.

Upon my return from London I scouted for us a graffiti covered abandoned indoor car park which had a narrow horizontal slit in the wall illuminated by an early evening sun. I loved the way how the sun hit my subjects’ faces and the bold light and shadow pattern projected on the wall.

I can’t find my original edits from years ago, but the current one reflects the trend for pushed film looks that are complimentary to urban and grungy backdrops and contrasty light.

Charlotte against a graffiti door
Charlotte against a graffiti door
Dramatic urban light portrait
Dramatic urban light portrait
Warm afternoon sunlight for urban portraits
Warm afternoon sunlight for urban portraits
Dramatic expressions complimenting dramatic light
I loved Charlotte energy as her expressions complimented the light scheme perfectly
Looking up
A couple in dramatic urban light
A bit of fun
How the light looked on Charlotte from the wall opening direction
This is how the light looked on Charlotte from the wall opening direction
Strong side-lighting worked for us
A wide angle urban portrait scene overview
A wide angle urban portrait scene overview

 

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