The Skittle Alley Runway
BLUE HILL PHOTOSHOOT PART 2 | Darrin Henry
Here’s part two of our fashion photoshoot with the beautiful Gemma Lawrence, at Blue Hill Community Centre here on St Helena.
Squeezing History Into A Photograph
The building is an active social venue for the district of Blue Hill. It was originally part of a school dating back to the early 20th century as a plaque on the wall attests, a reminder of a time when every district on the island boasted its own school.
On this photoshoot we wanted to combine the usual glamorous aspect of the photographs with the traditional architecture of this old building. The styling ranged from an elegant floor length gown to ripped jeans, each look shot against a different backdrop. Lighting the shoot involved a mixture of studio lights, strobes and natural light.
The skittle alley provided a natural fashion runway for one look. How could we not. About 20-30 years ago skittle alleys on St Helena were probably at their most popular. The sport dates back to medieval times in Europe, inspiring many variations of the game over the centuries, including lawn bowls and 10 pin bowling. On St Helena nine stocky, wooden pins are targeted by throwing three heavy rubber balls, usually by two teams of nine players each. Concrete alleys across the island attracted boisterous, good natured competition throughout the week. Enthusiasm has waned over the years but a few leagues continue to function; Blue Hill is one.
Blue Hill Natural Beauty
A semi-covered stairwell linking two levels of the building was used for another of the looks, styled with jeans and a floral top. We decided natural lighting was the way to go with this set. Strong sunlight streaming through a narrow window offered a twist on the lighting mood.
A small pair of battery operated computer speakers connected to music on Sharon’s phone brought some rhythm to the shoot.
You will notice post-production on these images is quite heavy compared to our usual style. It’s been a two stage process creating this effect. First using a custom made ‘recipe’ in Canon’s, Digital Photo Professional software, then running the output through a ‘vintage’ process in Photoshop.
For the final look we headed back inside the main hall to make use of the classic multi-paned windows. The recessed frame left a window shelf just wide enough to fit Gemma’s slim frame, and she was a trooper in conveying a relaxed ease whilst crammed inside the restricted space. But it was the last shot of the day and a good way to finish.