The Looks | Hertel Ave Buffalo

Welcome to the first edition of The Looks. 

Where we take look at some of the photos from our recent outings and go over the location and some of the ideas and inspirations behind them.

Today's adventure-

HERTEL AVE. BUFFALO

Finally! We had some decent weather! Three weeks into spring and we got a warm sunny day. This meant we can finally head out with our cameras untroubled by the elements.

Hertel avenue in Buffalo was on the top of our list for doing a shoot because it could offer so much in a small area. Among the many diverse bars, restaurants, and other spots, Hertel is where my favorite record store is. Revolver Records.

This was initially the reason we chose to come to Hertel. We knew we wanted to do a record store shoot but knew we could get a lot out of one day so we grabbed the cameras and headed out.


Revolver Records

The record store was our first stop. We had a idea going in about how we wanted to capture the location. Amanda had worn an all black outfit with a Rolling Stones band tee shirt and a jean jacket which set the tone for our model.

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/100, 400 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/100, 400 iso

The next few shots we did were through the large windows that bordered the front of the store. I was outside with the camera and Amanda was posing inside. I pressed the lens up against the glass and began shooting. This created some interesting light artifacts around the frame. Again making sure we had plenty of the back ground in the shot.

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/60, 400 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/60, 400 iso

The goal was to capture the subject interacting with the space creating more of a candid look. So we ventured around the store doing just that. The store itself is definitely unique. Record stores have a certain feel to them and balancing that with my subject was definitely the goal.

 
Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/1250, 400 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/1250, 400 iso

For editing these the goal was definitely to give them a "vintage" look. Raising the clipping of the blacks with the tone curve and warming them up was about it. I also put some yellow in the highlights via split toning. This gave me the warm and faded look I was going for.


The Wall

Right next to the record store was a big red brick wall.

Which is cool.

We were out at about 4pm so the light was still quite sharp. (not our best move) Regardless we used this to create a very sharp flat look against the wall that was, as I can explain it... "cool"

The results were cool actually. Very harsh and raw. There was still more I wanted to do in editing and really give them something unique.

Rarely lately have I done any significant "photoshoppy" editing to my photos so I wanted to get a little more experimental  The first thought that came to mind was a chromatic aberration effect... So i did that! (Tutorial I used here)

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/5000, 200 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/5000, 200 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/3200, 200 iso

Sigma Art 24-70, f2.8, 1/3200, 200 iso

I Used this effect only on the subject, so I could do something different with the background. 

For that I started by posterizing it, with the value set to 5. Then I found an interesting lightning bolt image overlay, slapped two of those down turned one on its side, played with the blend modes (the bottom one was screen, top multiply) and BAM!

This was all just some simple things done in photoshop. Nothing took very long to do and the results were as interesting as I hoped! It was definitely nice to just try and break them a little.


North Park Theatre 

Our last location of the day was the historic North Park Theatre

We wanted to wait until the sun was down just a little more so we could take advantage of the amazing lights that don the theater. 

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/320, 200 iso

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/320, 200 iso

With the sun down enough we could take full advantage of these beautiful lights on the theatre and the glasses were very reflective giving us a nice way to play with the light. In our second image we did just that.

Amanda laid down on the ground (don't be afraid to get dirty, the image will be worth it!) and let the glasses do the work! I just had to position the reflection to exactly how I wanted.

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/40, 200 iso

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/40, 200 iso

The look was definitely to play with the reflection of the glasses and let the lights blend into the bokeh of the image. 

In editing, I brought up the saturation to let the color or the lights pop and crushed the blacks to take away some detail in the shadows. The first thing I wanted the eye to see were the glasses. 

 

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/160, 200 iso

Canon 50mm, f2.2, 1/160, 200 iso

Our final image comes from our way to our cars. We spotted a neon "glasses" sign and used that as the reflection in the lenses. 

Sort of Glassception going on here.

Being so close to the sign, Amanda was engulfed by the red glow and contrasting that with the blue of the sky created some nice color play as well.

Every person should shoot with reflective glasses at some point. It's a very popular look right now and for good reason. So many ideas and possibilities. 

At the end of the day we were extremely happy with our shots. We were so amazed how much more we could've done here. There was so much going on here we could've stayed for a few more hours. Plenty of people were out and enjoying the weather we could've done a couple hundred shots just shooting people and interacting with them. 

I would definitely recommend checking out this part of Hertel Avenue if you are looking for places in Buffalo to explore! 

Leave us a comment with any questions or other suggestions for places to check out!