Straight into the light / by Mike Stacey

Having just purchased a new (second hand) lens from a friend, I decided the best thing to do would be to test it out under real conditions so I contacted local model Tia Wright and teed up a shoot. I'd been checking an area beside the railway line on the way home from work in the afternoons. The setting sun blasted horizontally through dark and straight trunked trees softened by a nice understory of yellowing grasses. I'd imagined shooting here before, straight into the light; and this would be perfect test for the new lens and also one of my favourite types of light. I always like to know how each of my lenses handles flare and extreme lighting conditions.

I met Tia at about 3:30 so we had a bit less than an hour and a half of shooting but the results are fantastic. The lens is a Nikon f2.8 70 - 200mm and is not the sort of thing I have ever shot with before but one which I need for one of my current shooting styles. Bokeh is very sweet and I don't need the same large aperture to achieve the same degree of bokeh because of the zoom factor. Bonus!

For part of the shoot, I was wanting to shoot a bit differently - more dynamically and fluidly, without a fixed agenda or plan, so I asked Tia to just keep moving - without stopping and settling into a pose. This can be challenging for a model but Tia settled into it nicely and got the hang quickly.

Of course my world doesn't revolve around digital; I shot some film as usual, Kodak Tri-X on the Pentax 67. Yet to process that film but I have a feeling there'll be a shot for the True Colours set in there.