Great Sites For Photo Shoots Around Manchester CT — part 2
People often want to find great sites for taking outdoor portraits and fashion shoots. Manchester, CT offers a number of great photo sites that work well for this type of photography. Even if you don’t ask me to do the photographs I’ll offer you some ideas for great places to take photos (especially portraits and fashion shoots) in the greater Manchester, Connecticut area.
Like my last suggested area, this site is still in Northwest Park in Manchester. It has easy access to I-84, ample parking, and (most of all) great photographic sites. When you enter the park by automobile, bear right and continue on to the picnic pavilion. At the picnic pavilion you have a number of photographic vistas to choose from! And all of them are within easy walking distance. Today’s site is a path/trail that starts next to the Butterfly Garden and goes along the banks of Union Pond. There are a number of good photography sites along the path. Have your models wear comfortable walking shoes and change into their modeling footwear when you arrive at your chosen photographic site. Today’s model is the lovely Brianne. If you would like to view larger photos, right click the photo and open in a new window.
The first site is a short distance from the Butterfuly Garden. It has good tree cover to give ample shade. It nicely overlooks the lake which serves as a great background for your shoot. There are two photos at this site, one a full body shot and the other a close up.
Walk a mere 25 feet and you come to another great scenic overlook. Again two photos are used from this site. The full body shot gives you an idea of the overall background. The close up shows you that the trees are far enough away so that they do not detract from the shot.
Another short walk and we come to another area overlooking the lake. Brianne liked to shoot is this spot because she could use the tree as a prop. Even though surrounded by trees, they do not detract from the beautiful Brianne.
The nice thing about Northwest Park is that it has restrooms that can be used for changing rooms. Brianne went and changed and we went to our next photo site. This site is across from the first path that goes to the right. I chose this particular site for a reason that you will soon see. This site has a fairly unobstructed view of the lake, which has certain advantages, among them the model (and what he/she is wearing) is the focus of attention. The site’s drawback, if you could call it that, is that more sun comes through as you can see on Brianne’s cheek, arm, and other parts of the dress, in the full body shot. Again two photos are used, a close up and full body shot, to show you the environment of the site.
The advantage of the site just mentioned is the path (also just mentioned). This path, which is wide, goes into the woods and offers total shade during the photo shoot. It offers a totally new and different environment and all we had to do was walk 20 or 30 feet. During this segment of the shoot, Brianne again changed her outfit and I changed the setting on my camera (slowing the shutter speed) to let in more of the ambient (background light).
The final site for the day was on the walk back to the car. This area has dense trees. As you look up the trail, back toward the parking area, the site looks like a tunnel. But it offers a great photo environment. Again, two photos are used to show the variety of the possibilities you can capture.
There is a drawback to photographing in Northwest Park. It’s a park! And people use it. If you maintain your sense of humor (as Brianne did!), the “interruptions” (which weren’t that many as we photographed on a week day) are not unbearable. The people who walked by were friendly and seemed to enjoy seeing us do the shoot. You do need to watch out for poison ivy.
The advantage of shooting here is that we had a number of different environments and sites all within easy walking of the parking places. Clean restrooms can be used for changing outfits. Ample and easy parking. If you have any questions about Northwest Park, feel free to ask me!
Tricks and techniques for this shoot: The lighting for the shoot was two speedlights (flashes) on a tri-flash holder without any light modifiers (a technique I learned from Nick Carter, an award winning photographer). The flashes were set to 1/4 power for an effective yield of 1/2 power. Using two flashes at once allows for a faster flash recycle time.
Want me to do a photo shoot for you? I work a lot cheaper than you think! I simultaneously shoot in RAW and JPEG.
UPDATE: I visited Northwest Park today (June 3, 2013) and the area along the lake shore has grown in quite a bit more. There are still great spots for the shoot, but the leaves and plants are bigger, fuller, and greener. The poison ivy is also out in force so be careful where you stand. There are two trails off of the lake shore trail which are open and will not cause a problem.
Jim the Photographer