One Bridge, One Dance

This past Friday Tilda Kristiansson and I went to Tranebergsbron (The Traneberg Bridge) in Stockholm for a photo session. The first version of this bridge was envisioned by Gustav III, and created in 1787, to create a better route between the city and his little palace in Drottningholm. The latest reincarnation of the bridge is from the early 2000s. It is a great location for photography, with the big concrete pillars and walls. Our plan for the evening was to do some portrait and dance photography.

Tilda Kristiansson posing under Tranebergsbron.
A quick test shot under the bridge to check the light. Because Tilda is standing in the shades you get indirect and soft light on her.
Portrait of a smiling Tilda Kristiansson.
Same location, shot a bit closer. The background in darkness creates a godo separation. Normally I prefer to shoot at smaller apertures, but here I shot at f/3.5. This together with the closeness to the subject creates a blurry background.
Tilda Kristiansson in high heels in front of a concrete wall.
In this photo I was playing around a bit with the curves in photoshop. By inverting the curve, creating a U-shape, the black clothes turned blue-ish. Man Ray experimented with this technique called solarisation.
Tilda Kristiansson whipping her hair. Her shadow on the wall.
Playing with hair motion and shadows.
Tilda Kristiansson laughing.
Cameron Diaz?
Tilda Kristiansson strikes a dance pose under Tranebergsbron.
The sun is just behind this concrete wall and to the left. By turning the camera slightly and bringing in a bit of light from the sun into the lens we get a less contrasty photo.
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson
Here I have opened up the aperture to f/2.8. The lens goes all the way to f/1.4 but I am cautious against using the largest aperture as the depth of field becomes really shallow.
Sitting portrait of Tilda Kristiansson.
You can see that I am playing around with slightly different editing in these photos. Some have a more greenish tone, others like this have a warmer tone. Several of these photos also have a bit of split toning.
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson against a concrete wall.
A more corporate look?
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson leaning against the concrete wall with grafitti on it.
Black and white can be a really effective way of bringing out texture and shadows of a photo. But you have to be careful, sometimes colour is the thing that helps separate your subject from the background.
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson sitting.
It is too easy to get stuck in one place if you find a good spot. So here we started to move around to see if we could find other backgrounds.
Beautiful black and white portrait of Tilda Kristiansson.
Another reason why I wanted to move, was that I felt a bit constrained just shooting against a concrete wall. I like to try different angles, like in this photo, where I took a step to the side from the above position and got this photo instead.
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson, photographed looking over her shoulder.
Again experimenting with having the face turned away from the light.
Tilda Kristiansson doing a dynamic handstand.
We started looking for yoga poses on Instagram, and found a really nice feed with lots of great poses that we used as inspiration.
Tilda Kristiansson, "Human knot" photo.
Tying yourself into a knot. Again look how nice light you get when you have a big soft light source from one side. Under a bridge is a great place for a photoshoot.
Tilda Kristiansson showing of her flexibility.
This might look easy, but it is not. The previous pose I tried, but this one I did not even consider trying.
Tilda Kristiansson
There was a ledge next to the concrete wall that Tilda was standing on, which meant that for a lot of these photos I was shooting slightly from below.
Portrait of Tilda Kristiansson
The sun was getting lower, giving us an orange light.

Many thanks to Tilda for a fun photoshoot! You can see more photos with Tilda here.

— Johannes

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