|New extended shop front for Williams Goodwin - Final post production image © Glyn Davies|
Just over a week away from my London exhibition, about which I'm already pulling my hair out (yes I'm an artist darling and simple things stress me!) and I get a phone call from a commercial client aaaarrrrgggghhhh not now, why now, you need it when ??! etc.
This client however, is not any old client, he is more of mate, a breath of fresh air to work with. I've done shoots for Melfyn Williams of "Williams Goodwin Estate Agents" over nearly two decades now, since we were were ten years old I guess (was that OK Mel ? :-)) so his smooth desperation forced me to accept this latest commission, a relatively straight shot to show that they have now extended their Llangefni Office into another shop unit, as a specialist lettings centre.
As I've been inundated with sales recently it's been hard trying to stay on top of printing and framing but Mel needed these pix in a great hurry, (don't clients ALWAYS need pix in a great hurry), so we committed to the very next evening for the shoot.
It was a great day, dry and warm. En route to Llangefni at 7.30 pm the windscreen wipers were sweeping away the rain-drenched view of thunderous black rain-clouds overhead! I pulled up in a drab, grey, water-logged street and the sound of the rain was thumping on the roof. I was going to have to STAND in this rain to get the shot! I had a brolly, a big one, but the wind was howling down the street and the the Slazenger would become a sail. Ironically enough, the bright, cheery and colourful lights blazing away inside Melfyn's premises was like a scene from a fairy tale, warm and welcoming, mug of hot sweet tea but wolves howling at the door.
I spent maybe half an hour erecting halogens around the two units, running across the street from time to time to assess the balance of artificial to ambient light. Finally, the lights were nicely balanced. Melfyn had kept the roadside parking free from parked cars save for his "Property People" van outside, which we were to incorporate within the shot. Neither of us were keen to hang around for another two hours for late dusk so we agreed on post production instead - well a G&T was calling me and nothing gets in the way of that, and Mel had Prize Wining sheep to feed (he IS a man of many skills let me tell you!).
We did this picture in four frames, the last being the version we used. Mel had to drive the car at just the right velocity for my shutter speed, so as to place the blurry moving vehicle just in front of the joining wall, not the main windows.
|New extended shop front for Williams Goodwin - Basic RAW file as shot © Glyn Davies|
Mels' original brief was a shot he'd seen of a New York skyline, in Black and White but with a blur of lights. Ours is definitely a Llangefni skyline, in Welsh weather, but in many ways even in these horrendous conditions, it still creates a positive light for this progressive and highly successful estate agency. As with all jobs, there are a few things I would like to have done differently, not the least of which was persuade the client to give me more notice so that we were not forced to work in awful weather! It would also have been nice to place lovely big street plants outside the building, which they are planning anyway, and theoretically I'd love to have had lots of blurry figures walking past the windows to make it look busy, but apart from bush-bales blowing down the road, the street was too deserted and wet to even commandeer people!
In post production, I took the RAW file initially through Canon's own DPP software to correct Canon's barrel distortion of the lens, then opened it again in PhotoShop to make further adjustments. I created several adjustment layers from saturation to contrast to levels, and then used these as layer masks to mix the colour and black & white. I removed some of the annoying features and of course cropped the image to remove adjacent buildings and finally enhanced the headlamp blur from the moving vehicle.
So I hope you enjoy the shot for what it is, bearing in mind the conditions :-) And thanks Mel for the hot tea and warm welcome.
If you are looking for a top estate agent for your lettings, sales or purchases, please get in touch with "Williams Goodwin Estate Agents"
All words and images are strictly copyrighted to © Glyn Davies
Glyns landscape images are all available here at www.glyndavies.com