Hanna (Stranger #73/100), Berlin Brandenburger Tor

Usually I find the less traveled streets of a city offer the most interesting people. In a Berlin I encountered a week after the wall celebrations, swept by stark grey weather, things and people seemed most intriguing in the bigger groups around the better known stretches.

Hanna and her friend Gina had come to town from native Hannover for a concert the night before, and an evening on, still buzzing with energy from the performance, were braving the cold to say farewell to Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate.

Hanna had an amazing, glowingly pristine complexion and simple, stylish look. Having scouted a harsh lighting environment moments before, I immediately rushed over in the hope she could tame the light.

That light comes from a Canon 600EX-RT in a mini-soft box about 2m camera right (ETTL) and a reflector 1m camera left. The reflector is held by Gina over the top of a huge floodlight, set into the stone pavement to illuminate the gate’s pillars. That’s then blocked from the pillar and bounced across extremely professional by Gina onto Hanna. Meanwhile, Hanna has a smaller silver reflector which is bouncing back in a little flash, but is chiefly there as a flag to prevent the floodlight catching her directly from below in a kind of “monster/Halloween light” scenario.

All great fun! Thank you Hanna and Gina for agreeing to take part – especially Hanna for enduring the reflected glare of the light, and heaps of interested double takes from passersby.

Thanks to Al Fed for his much appreciated advice on shooting in Berlin. He’s one of the people that inspired me to undertake this project; a super chap, with an awesome portfolio worth checking out!

This is portrait #73 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

Also, I’m now live on Facebook; www.facebook.com/Flatworldsedge.

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