Go behind the scenes and dive into the world of Carlota Barrera at London Fashion Week as Ian Gavan captures beautiful backstage scenes in monochrome, all while remaining reasonably discrete and subservient to the smooth running of the production.

How did you find it working behind the scenes at Carlota Barrera’s FW22 Digital Show Filming?

For many years I’ve shot fashion backstage during countless shows and fashion weeks in London, Milan, Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, and Stockholm, so I’ve become very familiar with the way it all works. In fact, I had worked with Carlota Barrera before, so we had a mutual appreciation of each other’s work already.

Backstage, I’m mindful of everyone else’s perspective. From the designer and their team to the production crew, I try and build rapport with everyone, so they know I have their best interests in mind. I want to photograph and convey their collective artistic endeavours in the best light.

How did you find it working with the SL-System for this project?

It was great to use just the one camera and lens combination that could handle everything. This meant I could be as manoeuvrable as possible. The SL2 and Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm alone was capable of covering the entire assignment to yield a varied set of photographs, all while remaining reasonably discrete and subservient to the smooth running of the production.

I set the camera to face and body detection AF and worked the scene. I was shooting in two areas; a daylight lit area with a cove to shoot the show preparation, and a black out studio by the runway to shoot first looks before the models headed out. This camera and lens combination covered everything from portraits of the models to wide group shots of the team.

How does the SL-System perform compared to other camera systems?

The SL2 is an extremely robust camera, and I love having the option to work with my M-Lenses via the M-Adapter L. The optics are exquisite, and the sensor creates an excellent DNG file with great dynamic range. This, coupled with the incredible resolution, makes the SL2 an excellent choice.

Which SL-Lenses do you prefer to work with, and why?

This depends on the assignment. When I’m working a scene against the clock in autofocus, the SL2 paired with the Vario-Elmarit SL-Lenses is hard to beat. On the other hand, the prime M-Lenses with the adapter make the camera very compact and light.

Are there any other features you like about the SL2?

The SL2’s image stabilisation is a real benefit for backstage portraiture on the fly. I was able to keep the ISO down and work fast at the 90mm end of the zoom range, creating handheld shots that I wouldn’t have otherwise attempted. This really helped broaden out the set of images I was able to present to the client.

Do you have any photography advice or tips for anyone working with the SL-System?

I think if you’re new to the SL-System, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself carefully with customising the camera to your individual shooting style, and to set up the autofocus in a way that works for you. Time invested here can really make the SL-System not only formidably capable but also an absolute joy to use.

Switch to Leica:

We’re making it easier than ever for you to switch to the Leica SL2 and SL2-S with our SL Trade-In Offer. Until the 31st of March, you can trade in a qualifying camera from another manufacturer for an SL-System camera and receive a bonus voucher on top of your trade-in value.

To receive our additional trade-in value vouchers by email, the only requirement is to register here.

The vouchers can be redeemed at all participating Leica dealers. Check out our terms and conditions for the trade-in process.

See more from the artists:

Ian Gavan: www.iangavan.com/

Carlota Barrera: www.carlotabarrera.com/