The Rural Retreat

Yesterday I returned to the old Church by Denton Village, this time together with the Helena Blair and her family. The first time I went here was with the Blood Wedding cast (blog post), and on the way we had passed a little derelict house which looked really interesting. This time I wanted to make sure we visited the house. We set out after lunch, the car packed with lots of outfits and camera gear. In the end we did not use everything, but it is better to have too much than too little.

The old church provides a great backdrop. At first Helena was standing under the arch, but then she disappeared in the scene, so by walking closer to the camera she stood out more. One thing I have started to pay attention to in the photos is how the dress folds as she walked forward.
Exploring the ruin, looking for interesting frames. We have a golden reflector to the right providing a bit of extra light. You can see the reflection in Helena’s glasses.


Helena and Max


Before I always wanted to have eye contact with the person that I photographed, but more and more I have started to appreciate giving the photos a bit more mystery. Here we found good light coming through the church window.


We also did some flash photos. By having the flash close to the wall we could get harsh shadows, showing the structure of the stones. The only tricky bit is that since Helena’s hand is so much closer to the flash it gets a bit overexposed.
Veils are fun. Here Helena is standing in the doorway to the church tower.
One more photo with the veil in the tower, here we also added a flash from the right. I like how her face is only partially lit, and the sparkling reflections in the veil.
This photo is a composite. It felt a bit empty with just the field so put Helena and her dad in the window. Because the windows were so bright it was easy to use select colour in the menu, choose highlights and then tweak the settings a bit to create the mask to put them in the window.
Hitching a ride through the field, to avoid the nettles.
The window provides a beautiful frame.
Wherever we turned there was a great background. The only thing we needed to make sure was to keep Helena well lit.
Mandatory hair toss photo.
A bit of paint, and it will be as good as new…
The fireplace has a rustic antique feel to it.
The floor might need a bit of work, but the roof looks like it is in mint condition.
There were some holes in the wall on the other side, providing a framing for Helena.
Derelict places are fun.
We found a relatively clear patch of floor for Helena to sit down on.
We had time for a few more fun photos.
We were really close to the road, but the hedge was impenetrable, so we had to circle around it again on our way back. Helena and Penny.
The last photo of the day. Helena and Peter.

Many thanks to the Blairs for a fun afternoon! I really like small adventures like this. To be continued!

Update: See more of Helena in our Lady of the Castle photoshoot and the Fallen Angel photoshoot.

– Johannes

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One Comment

  1. Peter Blair
    May 18, 2015

    Thanks for a great day out, we all enjoyed it enormously and so impressed with the photos. Inspirational!

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