Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Seventh heaven

It was supposed to rain...

...but Pia and I were lucky. Nevertheless, we began our session inside upstairs in the Königspassage where the photo gallery LUMAS used to be. Not many people go all the way up to the third floor of Stuttgart's downtown mall to casually look at expensive furniture, Oriental rugs and model trains, so I figured we'd be left in peace.

And we were until the security guard noticed all the flashes going off. He warned us that no stores were allowed to be photographed if I were planning to publish the pictures. So be it. After that warning he let us be. In the picture above, we took advantage of the light coming in from the glass ceiling behind her.

I had previously envisioned a picture similar to the one above, which I took with my 10-20mm wide-angle lens, using the architecture of the place as a fitting backdrop for my seventh photo session with Pia.
If the weatherman had been right, we would have stayed indoors a bit longer, but as it turned out, we were blessed with a gorgeous - if somewhat windy - day. We ended up in the courtyard of the Altes Schloß, where a few hundred white plastic chairs were set up in anticipation of an evening theater performance. We couldn't have wished for a better backdrop! And Pia just happened to have a black dress on!

First we tried it with the sun on her face. Then I ran around to the other side and went for the back-lighting.

I love both pictures. What do you think? Which do you prefer?
After surfeiting myself on black and white, we moved over to the nice old stone wall of the castle. Once again, here are two shots showing the effect of lighting placement. (Both use only ambient light.) This first one is a shot with the sunlight behind me (though we had some cloud cover making the light soft).

And then I swung around to the other side to face the light and get some sunshine on her hair. When I saw the pictures on the PC at home, I was amazed at how well the light and the colors of the wall matched what Pia was wearing. And I love the nice contrast between the castle wall's rough stones and the smooth curves of Pia's face, hair and clothes.

The weather was still on our side so we wandered over to the Neues Schloß, Stuttgart's sightseeing center.  Sounds busy, but few people actually go right up to the building itself, so we made ourselves at home there, taking advantage of the fountains for a splash of fun in the background.

All natural light
For this last picture, I was using my Sony 16-105 all-around lens so that I could get close enough to hold a reflector under Pia's chin to throw back some sunlight into her face. The catch-light in her eyes comes from the white reflector.

And to think we did all this in just two hours while taking care of my 15-month-old baby at the same time! What a life!


  1. Very nice pics. all photos are awesome.

  2. Gorgeous photos, Jim. Funny, upon our return home from a week out of town, Chris and I discovered some new graffiti along the autobahn. It says,"PIA I LOVE YOU." This isn't a name I've seen many times before...she must have admirers :)

  3. The lighting in these pictures are amazing, I love your work.

  4. This series will be difficult to top, but the next bunch will be from our trip to America - watch out!