Runway/Catwalk photography is a fast moving and technically demanding aspect of Fashion Photography. Birmingham is an excellent venue for a number of fashion events. Style Live has grown from modest beginnings, with the first show taking place at the Mailbox with a simple floor Runway. Clothes Show Live (National Exhibition Centre, December) provides an opportunity to photograph Student Fashion / Multicultural Fashion and Designer Labels.
Repetition is a key element in understanding the performance and movement of the Models and how the Lighting is going to change. I've developed an available light / flash technique. It requires meticulous preparation. Each camera functions slightly differently. I use a Nikon D300. Something I've discovered is the use of high ISO with the Jpeg file format (Fine/Large setting) to produce excellent quality images with minimal noise. The metering is set to centre-weighting (8mm) with continuous auto focus, which is essential with the movement of the models. The recycling of the flash needs to be instantaneous. This is slightly difficult for my 1970's Metz Flash Unit (Guide number 60) but I can rattle through 8 shots before it needs to power up.
Fortunately I don't need to fight through crowds of photographers, as with the London or Paris Fashion Weeks. Style Live provides excellent support for Freelance Photographers, providing two exclusive shooting points for professional photographers at the Birmingham Town Hall venue.
Post production with a programme like Lightroom or Photoshop ensures the final visual feel and technical quality of the Runway images. Personal tweaks include a separate layer to retouch elements to be included in the final image (removal of stray light, how much of the audience is included and controlling points of focus). Other layers control colour balance, curves and final sharpness). Retouching of Hair and Makeup adds the final professional touch.
Go to Downloads for a free powerpoint presentation on basic Fashion Retouching.
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