Having held a few ‘tester’ Workshops with small groups of photographers over the past few weeks I’ve been getting the occasional email coming through asking about 1-1 sessions to include both lighting & editing techniques.
1-1’s are something I do intend to be offering so with a little spare time available this past weekend and being a big believer in the mantra of ‘Practice makes Perfect’ I got together with a good friend of mine (and keen Photographer) Neal Hibbert to run through a ‘personalised’ Workshop.
We started the afternoon off by going through basics of how to control the ambient light in a scene and then how to bring in some off camera lighting to light the subject. We then moved on to run through my Invisible Black Backdrop technique firstly outdoors, and then indoors to go through the same technique but also how to deal with the challenge of light bouncing off the surrounding walls and creeping into the shot.
Keeping in the tradition of running workshops when it’s either raining or freezing cold, we then headed out into what seemed like Arctic conditions (maybe a slight exaggeration) to work on a couple of ‘location’ shots:
Having been out for no longer than half an hour we then headed back indoors and once body temperatures had returned back to a respectable 36.8 ºC we then loaded in some of the shots from the afternoon and ran through some simple editing techniques.
BIG thank you to Neal’s daughter Leah who helped us out by being our model for the afternoon, but I’m sure this wont be the last bit of modelling she’ll be doing as I’ve already been notified of Neal’s purchase of a light stand, reflective umbrella etc… (Just don’t blame me Leah….please)
This shot was taken in Neal’s kitchen during the middle of the afternoon and was created using the Invisible Black Backdrop technique. To minimise the spread of light coming out of the reflective umbrella I closed it down almost all the way and positioned it so that I was getting the light to give nice shadows on Leah’s face.
*NB…’Closing down’ the umbrella simply refers to releasing the catch so that the umbrella is no longer fixed open. This allows us to control the spread of light and give it more direction but still gives a nice soft light as it’s still a decent sized light source and is in close to the subject.
This shot couldn’t have been simpler. The ambient light was reduced by about 2 stops and then Leah was lit using a Nikon SB800 high on a light stand. Initially no light modifier was used but this meant that Leah’s top half was lit but lower half and ground became very dark. The solution…use a 60″ Shoot-Thru umbrella to create a larger light source and consequently a bigger spread of light. (Image 3 was made using the exact same lighting set up)
Bye for now.
* You can check out Neal’s results from the afternoon by visiting his Flickr page.