It’s a grim-looking Friday morning and I’m sat at a bus stop in the wind and rain. I’m waiting. The bus is late but I’m okay with that because I’m not going to my day-job today. I’ve got my camera bag on one shoulder and a rather innocuous-looking carrier bag containing a veryspecial LEGO set on the other. I’m on a top-secret mission into deepest Manchester’s city centre in search of the perfect setting. This is going to be a shooting session with the new LEGO CreatorExpert #10265 Ford Mustang.
Deep inside I’m hoping for some beautiful Golden Hour light to capture the car in all of its rugged elegance. Unfortunately, the forecast on my weather app says “no” (read as “rain”) – and lots of it. There is yet a glimpse of hope, though. Between 3 pm and 5 pm, we’re promised a tiny wee bit of sun and today, that is what I’m pinning my hopes onto. Within a couple of minutes of getting into town, I spot a potential location in a back street of China Town.
The Back Streets Of China Town
I set up the car, checking that all the pieces are tight and that the wing mirrors are leveled. And when finally I’m ready to take some shots, a back door opens. A kitchen porter is on his cigarette break and suddenly I have an unanticipated audience. The set is currently a rather well-kept secret and I have been advised to show discretion when out-and-about on a shoot. Luckily, this guy doesn’t pay much attention. So I take a couple of shots and move on.
Puddles And Camera Gear
This time last year I was in the city centre taking some toy shots as well. A quick check of my old photos reminds me that the sun will be setting at the end of a particular street. That’s just where I’m heading towards. I make it to the location with an hour to spare, and I’ve got time to scout around some of the adjacent streets, too. Magically the rain has stopped. The air is still a little damp, but there are some smaller puddles that reflect the light perfectly.
The Perfect Location
I set up the shot again and the late afternoon sun creates some beautiful colours and casts some exquisite shadows down the narrow streets. The clouds are beginning to gather again, but I may have just got the shots I was after. A quick glimpse at my camera screen to double check that everything is in focus, and now I’m setting off again. The heavens open just as I board the bus home. It’s raining cats and dogs now but I’m grinning from ear to ear. I realize I just made the most out of the day. Mission accomplished.