A soulful, window-lit portrait scoops the next round of #WexMondays – here’s how Amy Bateman captured the shot
Image by Amy Bateman
Ahh, natural light – it’s a tricky beast at times, but when all the elements come together, there’s nothing like it. In the fifteenth week of our #WexMondays competition, this gorgeous portrait by photographer Amy Bateman – also known as @Croftfoot on Twitter – is a masterclass in composition, timing, and making use of gorgeous morning light.
This shot deservedly topped the leaderboard for the competition’s fifteenth week – and we wanted to know more about how it all came together. Read on for the story behind Amy’s fabulous image...
Wex Photo Video: Congratulations on a fantastic winning shot! Can you tell us when and where you captured it?
AB: It was in the middle of lockdown. We were lambing, so we isolate at this time of year anyway, only this year, our three girls aren’t going to school and so have been a tremendous help. This is our youngest daughter and her favourite pet lamb; she’s sitting in the Byre – a small cow shed – where the morning light is beautifully diffused from the dusty old window.
WPV: What were the main challenges of grabbing this shot?
AB: I’ve used this window previously in a project around our farm called ‘Hidden Corners’. I knew the light was going to be tricky to handle, as the Byre is generally quite dark, so on this occasion I took my tripod, took five different exposures, and built an HDR image in Lightroom. Thankfully she sat beautifully still! She had her crook with her, and the steel bucket is always in there with cow feed in it, so nothing needed staging.
WPV: What kit were you using when you snapped it?
AB: I shoot with Sony A7R III. For this image, I used my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 25mm, f/5.6 and ISO 800, and took five exposures between 1/50 and 1/800. I used a Benro tripod and a Benro head.
WPV: What post-processing (if any) did you do on the image?
AB: I used Lightroom and built the HDR image. Played with a few sliders, mainly to lift the shadows. The brush tool was used to highlight the crook and change the colour temperature of the window to match the rest of the image.
WPV: How would you describe your style of photography? How has it evolved over the years?
AB: I adore capturing an image that tells a story, holds people’s attention that little bit longer, maybe provides something to ponder or wonder over. Interesting light certainly helps with most photography, and it's something I seek out. I have started playing around with continuous and flash lighting to enhance certain images, and am loving the extra effects these can bring. My commercial work has been instrumental in this step and I adore using my camera for work and for play.
I’ve only been doing Photography for four years in earnest and have heaps to learn; it's an evolving technology though, and there are always new (and old) techniques to develop. I find that entirely stimulating.
WPV: Do you have your next #WexMondays image planned?
AB: I never plan them. I live on a farm and invariably something happens during the week worth capturing. But, I also always have my camera with me. I hate going to bed knowing I’ve missed a fabulous shot by leaving the camera at home.
Amy Bateman is a photographer and Sony Alpha Creator based in Cumbria – see more of her images at amybatemanphotography.com.
Fancy your chances at #WexMondays? All you need is a camera and a Twitter account! Here’s the skinny on how to play.