Friday, 25 April 2014

"On a Leyland" Somerset Photo Shoot & Retouching Tutorial by Alexandra Gunnoe

The outcome of this 60’s inspired shoot was one of my favorites.  Instead of shooting in Devon, we took the bus out to Quantock Hills, Somerset and photographed our model, Charlotte, there.  It was gorgeous, sunny day and the ride in the 1958 Leyland was smooth and enjoyable.  I was the only passenger riding in the bus and I have to say, you get a lot of attention driving through England in a vintage automobile.   Lots of people wave and honk at you.  I felt like a rock star.

The team met up at Kate Sly’s Fashion Farmer styling studio to prep Charlotte for the shoot while Dan, the Proprietor of the West of England Transportation Collection, and I attempted to get the bus to the location.  We got stuck along the way due to being too large to pass under a bridge and had to find a new route around to Quantock Hills.  From there we faced challenges of low trees and steep hills, but we finally made it and ended up having a very successful shoot.  

To enhance the photos, I added a tiny bit of blue to the shadows in Lightroom, in addition to basic colour-correction.  For the interior shots, I wanted to recreate that vintage look so I then opened the images in Photoshop and after adjusting the levels, etc. I used two actions I’ve created in the past for these types of shoots.  Basically, the light leak actions add a light salmon colour to the highlights and a soft teal to the shadows.  I then masked the action away from the model’s face and corrected her skin tone. I always have to edit myself and use only 5-10% opacity on my actions.  Too many times I think I have it right, take a step away from the computer and return to see that my image looks over-processed.  To bring the detail of the trees back I reduced the exposure of the original image and opened it separately in Photoshop.  I then did a rough selection of the windows with the pen tool and pasted it into my new composite.  With my opacity and flow set to 30%, I gently brushed the trees back into my image.  

Finally, I liquified the model’s dress, dodged and burned, added a soft glow to the interior bus lights and adjusted my curves layer and contrast.  Here is an example of one image straight out of camera and then the “after” retouched version.  When these vintage bus shoots have been completed I will go back and start adding in-depth retouching tutorials, but if you have any questions, please contact me on my website and I’ll do my best to answer you promptly.

Back to the shoot… here’s a brief clip of Nina touching up Charlotte’s makeup on the bus, as well as some of my favorite images from the day.  

For more information on this ongoing project, please read my first post about The Vintage Bus Project, as well as check out my website


Alexandra Gunnoe (Photographer)
Dan Shears (Proprietor of the WETC)
Kate Sly at Fashion Farmer (Stylist)
Nina Spinks (MUA & Hair Stylist)
All wardrobe provided by:  Hay Does Vintage & Vintage Tramp

Alexandra Gunnoe Photography


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