Photo Shoot and Technique: Random Photos

Allow me to introduce to you my very good friend, neighbour & all round good guy Steve; a nicer man you couldn’t wish to meet…

A keen Motorcyclist I’ve photographed Steve a few times before, mainly full length shots so this time I thought we’d give some headshots a go; especially as I’m planning on doing more work in this area in the future. (More about that later.)

This series of shots were taken outdoors at around 7.30 in the evening using my Invisible Black Backdrop Technique.

So as to prevent the helmet Steve was wearing from disappearing into the black background I placed a California SunBounce Mini directly opposite the closed down umbrella and Nikon SB800. The SunBounce was fitted with the Silver/White material, with the white side facing towards Steve.

I’ve found myself moving away from using Lastolite Reflectors in favour of the California SunBounce range for a number of reasons; main one being the quality of light that they reflect but also the build quality and how incredibly light and portable they are. Admittedly they are considerably more expensive than say regular Lastolite reflectors but this in my opinion really is a case of ‘getting what you pay for’.

After this coming week when I’ll be posting the Beauty Retouching Series, I’m going to write a post and also record a video to show the editing in Photoshop that I’ve done on the images of Steve; making use of Luminosity to add contrast, the Vivid Colour blend mode and a couple of other little things, so be sure to check back.

This series of shots of Catherine, who just happens to be the wife of my good friend Noel Hannan, were taken at one of my recent ‘tester Workshops’ in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

The lighting in both images consisted of a single Nikon SB800 into a 60″ Reflective Umbrella positioned camera left.

As always, any questions or comments please feel free to use the ‘comments’ section below.

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June 2, 2010 - 7:39 pm

Glyn - @John…Hey John, believe me I would love to!!! Definitely something for the future that’s for sure :)
Hope all is well with you,
All the best,

June 2, 2010 - 3:09 pm

John Shim - So will you come to the US and teach a workshop? :) Always a fan, John

June 1, 2010 - 8:32 am

Glyn - Hi David, thanks for commenting.
The sunbounce is stretched across a frame; very easy and quick to set up, incredibly light and comes in it’s own material holder with shoulder strap making it real easy to carry around.

Re the umbrella choice, I used a 46″ umbrella purely because of limited space I was working in. I used to use it all the time before I got a 60″ and it’s perfect for everything but full length shots. I’m giungvto be doing a post soon all about the versatility of an umbrella so it would be great to read your thoughts then.

Thanks again for commenting; always appreciate your input.


June 1, 2010 - 5:53 am

Glyn - @Jason…Thanks for the comment about the photos mate; really appreciate it.
Hope all is well with you :)

May 31, 2010 - 9:11 pm

David Kelly - Glyn,

Again good results from a minimalist approach. Interesting to read your perspective on the California Sunbounce. I can’t recall whom, but I remember recently reading someone else extolling its virtues. The collapsible design of the Lastolite’s (and indeed most reflectors) made them easy for portability – the Sunbounce looks like it must be a kind of interlocking design with the material stretching across. I presume it must store in a tripod / lighting stand type bag?

Also I noticed you used a 46″ brollie rather than the 60″ which seems to be the norm from most of the postings I’ve read. Any particular reason? I wouldn’t have thought there would have been much to difference in the light reflected in the two brollies in a closed down state, as opposed to being wide open.

In the shots of Catherine she certainly has a gravitas and presence in holding the image together. I love the drama of low angle in the first shot and again (akin to Noel’s shot) the balance of elegance & nature in the second shot.



May 31, 2010 - 2:12 pm

jjpare - The shots of Catherine are great, Glyn — the one of her against the tree especially; such a beautiful and delicate shot. It makes me think of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Well done,

May 30, 2010 - 3:15 pm

Glyn - @Kelley…Thanks for the comment :)
Thanks too for the kind words about the photos in this post and it’s real nice to hear what you say about ‘casting my breath’.

Agreed..much respect to Catherine.
Thanks again,

May 29, 2010 - 4:24 pm

kelley - Glyn,
Love the light set up in the first shots. It’s wonderful to see your version of Catherine in the white dress. Very interesting to see another take (black backdrop) on what was my favorite image from Noel’s collection. Both beautiful, and again that’s what we’ve talked about- being able to show the same thing through other’s eyes. Regarding Catherine’s first image, I think I would know your pictures out of a group. You have mastered the ability to cast your “breath” onto all your images so they stand out as yours. I also think Catherine is fabulous and thus far my favorite model :-).

Beautifully done, as always, Kelley

May 29, 2010 - 2:43 pm

Glyn - @Noel…Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Thought you might appreciate the photos of the model in the dress :)

Like I said Im a big fan of the California Sunbounce; the quality of light it produces is stunning and using the silver side is like having another good quality light present.


May 29, 2010 - 11:22 am

Noel Hannan - Hi Glyn, great shots of the model – I love the one with the daisies in ther foreground (I missed them!) And thanks for the link too!

Great use of the Sunbounce in the shots of Steve. Such a simple addition to a simple technique, but how effective is that! I love the ‘keeping it simple’, it just shows what can be done with a minimal amount of equipment.

Now, if I could just get that models phone number (the one in the dress that is)…

take care


May 29, 2010 - 10:24 am

Glyn - @Matthew…Thanks for visiting the blog and for the kind words mate; I’ll certainly head over to your site and take a look.

Thanks too for the Podcast recommendation; all I need now are more hours in the day to keep up with them all…lol :)

May 29, 2010 - 10:15 am

Matthew - Hi,

I just came across your blog, just to say I like the pics. Am just starting out in photography and really enjoying it, I’ve put some of my pics up on my website if you’d like to check them out, comments always welcome!

I especially like the pic on the left, of Catherine, against the moody sky. Good contrast with the grey and green, I think the model’s dress acts as a kind of colour bridge which brings the image together, plus the depth of field and the white daisies in the foreground.

Oh, for video podcasts, I’ve put a link on my site to one called TedTalks. It’s recommended ( they also do an audio version for the “ipod” – whatever that is )

Best Regards,

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