Making the Magic Happen
Having the idea is one thing, but making the vision a reality is something else entirely.
Different people stop and ask me about different images in the our portfolio, and what the stories behind the photographs are. So, I'm putting up a few of the most popular ones to explain a little of the thinking behind them and how they came about, without spoiling too much of the magic.
Paige & The Ravens
Probably our most recognised image - I've lost count of the places this has been published and seen. . It's certainly brought us a lot of recognition and rewarding comments. This is something Bergit was really enthusiastic to bring to life. It's really a simple landscape shot with a person in front! The sea, the sky and the clouds were all there on the day. We dressed Paige is some plastic bin-liners and organza plus a hat from E-Bay. The make-up artist Michelle Ransome did her make up, and we lit her with one hand-held flash unit. The ravens were added later - one of the extremely rare occasions when I resort to using Photoshop!
I had this idea in my head for 5 years before I was in a position to be able to get back to this location and get permission to shoot there. It's in a lovely private Berlin apartment block in the Spandau district, and built in 1929, so precisely the period I was looking for. We put radio-triggered lights on each landing and adjusted them individually so that the correct amount of light fell into each part of the scene, especially the black & white chequered tiles at the bottom, which seem to draw the eye into the spiral of the image. It was an image I just had to do, and it satisfied a very creative itch!
We just loved the look and feel of the very stylish BBC TV drama "SS GB" about life in Britain if the Nazis had won World War Two. The lights, the mood, the cinematography was just something we wanted to do for ourselves. For this we needed a specialist crew. The three models were all artists, actors, models and fans of the vintage style. Sarah D Trebilcock, Rob Bown and Jamie Tamara Mackfall. We brought in hair stylist Charlene Claire Dalton and MUA's (make-up artists) Stacey Trevena and Andrea Wilks, who all contributed to the final look. The vintage valve wireless, the Zeiss Super Ikonta camera the "Gestapo Officer" is holding, are all authentic.
Das Mädchen unter der Laterne
Going slightly back to the vintage again, and partly inspired by Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective", this was actually shot on a busy Sunday afternoon around Camden Market! By bringing in some bright lights, we could underexpose the background so that it looked like night. Lily Marlene was a wartime song, and the war-themed graffiti added extra resonance to the image. The "model" is actually a friend and client of ours, not a professional model, but we knew she had what it would take to make a shot like this very thoughtful and special.
Zoë the Photographer
The camera she is holding is my late father's Rolleiflex, and it is still one of the best cameras around, and a firm favourite with photography masters such as David Bailey and Annie Leibovitz. We liked the idea of capturing another photographer and watching them capture another, entirely different image. What is it she is seeing on the ground-glass screen in the top of the camera? We are intent on watching her, but she is oblivious to our presence and is concentrating on something else, equally fascinating, out of sight. In her seeing an image, we have seen another one ourselves. For me, it doesn't have to be anything more than that - just a moment that makes us stop and think.
Hope you enjoyed looking at these images we have shared with you. Please feel free to get in touch!
Regards, - Adrian & Bergit (Barnett Photo Studio)
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