Come Rain or Shine

Yesterday it was time for the second Stockholm dance photo shoot, this time I met up with Olivia Åhman and Carola Ax in Gamla Stan, the Old Town in central Stockholm. Our plan was to wander around and find some beautiful spots to use as backdrops for our photos. The weather report earlier in the week had said that we would have great weather, but it started to rain heavily and we got a really wet start to our photo shoot which made for some great photos. The best part was the enthusiasm from Olivia and Carola when the skies opened up and soaked us. Later on in the evening it cleared up, and we got a really beautiful sunset.

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Olivia Åhman striking a pose in the alley. You can see the raindrop trails are shorter in this photo than the previous one. Here I had switched to a shorter shutter time to better freeze the movement.
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Carola Ax. Here I am laying on the cobblestone to get a low angle.
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Olivia Åhman. I was exposing for the sky, but in retrospect I should probably have accepted that the sky would be overexposed and bumped the ISO a bit to reduce noise.
The sky started to clear up, and we went looking for new streets to photograph on, and found this one.
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Carola Ax is positioned close to the beginning of the street, giving her lots of light on her, and the rest of the alley a bit in darkness.
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Olivia Åhman. When in doubt, always wear red as it helps you stand out in a photo.
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Carola Ax jumping while I captured the reflection in the puddle.
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Olivia Åhman
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Carola Ax backlit by the setting sun. Here we were scrambling to get a few shots before the clouds and buildings would take the sun away from us.
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Olivia Åhman. Here I was trying to find a way to include the reflection. I should probably have tried a little bit closer to the pillar on the left.
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Carola Ax and Olivia Åhman. Here there were a lot of flagpoles and other things in the background, but we did a few shots to just try the pose. I have cleaned up the skyline in post processing.
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We found this barge thing anchored, which provided us with a closer access to the water. The original plan was to do a few jumps, but in the end we opted for some static poses. Here we also brought out the flash.
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The tunnel leading out from Gamla Stan’s underground station had a nice view, so we also did a few shots here. Here Olivia Åhman, lit by a flash held by Carola Ax to the right. I have photoshopped the flash itself out of the photo.
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Carola Ax
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Carola Ax, lit by a flash from the right. Here we have put a snoot on the flash to restrict the light cone. Without it the wall would be completely lit up.
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Olivia playing. Here the flash did not fire properly, so I have pushed the exposure quite a lot in post processing.
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Olivia Åhman jumping against the silhouette of Stockholm. This is one of my favourites from the entire photo shoot. I have removed the flash from the photo to the right by using content-aware fill.
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Carola Ax against the same background.
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Olivia Åhman
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Carola Ax.
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It was getting late, and we had been shooting for about five hours. But just before leaving we decided to do a few last minute photos in the underground station.
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Here I am using a slightly longer shutter time (1/40s) to capture the motion blur.
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One last photo.

It is crazy how quickly an evening goes! I really liked the last few photos we did, both with the sunset and the underground. The latter has a lot of potential, so we will need to find a time when there are fewer people travelling. Oh, and rain can be a real blessing, giving the shoot a different atmosphere, and then after it clears up leaving lots of wet reflective surfaces.

Many thanks to Olivia and Carola for a very fun photo shoot!

If you want to see more Stockholm Dance photos, have a look at the beach photo shoot we did this past Saturday or the recent flour photo shoot with Jackie.

– Johannes

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