Cameron Part 1: Photo Shoot & Technique

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: April 26, 2010

Category: Videos

The above photo is one from a recent photo shoot with a great guy by the name of Cameron Lightfoot.
I’ve been meaning to post this series for a couple of weeks now but due to what I’m going to call a ‘computer glitch’ (the less said the better) I’ve had to wait until now.

Anyway I met up with Cameron in Costa Coffee, Beaconsfield where we had a chat for around half an hour or so before heading off. Naturally before we met up I’d done my usual ‘location scouting’ looking for a number of places where we could work.

We ended up photographing in 5 different locations so for the blog what I thought I’d do is to break down the shoot into sections and show you in a bit more detail what we did and how we did it…

Lately I’ve gotten into placing objects between the flash and the person I’m photographing so as to cast shadows and consequently add a little more interest to the picture. When it comes to firing the flash through a wire fence as in this case though there are a couple of things you need to be aware of to get it right:

First off you need to use a hard light source which in my case was a Nikon SB800 with no diffuser attached. The reason for this is that the person being photographed is positioned very close to the fencing and to have a large light source would cause the shadow cast by the fence to be very soft indeed; so much so that it may not even show up. However, too hard a light source and the shadow cast from the fence is way too defined and just doesn’t look right.

To get just the right look that I was after I had the flash positioned approximately 1 metre back from the fence, zoomed to 50mm and with no diffuser fitted.

I’ve put together a short video showing how I edited the ‘out of camera’ image and ended up with the final version. The video runs at 2x speed so if you have any questions at all about what you see please feel free to post them in the comments section below:

To finish off here’s a couple more of the photographs taken using the same lighting set up; one of Cameron and one from an earlier shoot with Tom Colley:

Any thoughts / comments I’d love to ‘hear’ them so please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Also if you’ve never tried this kind of thing before but now feel compelled to get out and give it a go, shout me a link if you post any of your results online; I’d love to see what you come up with.

Catch you soon for Part 2,
Enjoy 🙂

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  1. kelley

    Wonderful! LOVE the fence.

    • Glyn

      Hi Kelley, thanks for that.
      Hope all is well with you.

  2. Richard Hales

    Great collection of images Glyn, I really like the use of the “scrim” to add interest to the shots.

    • Glyn

      Hey Richard, great to hear from you.
      Thanks for the comment mate. Using a ‘scrim’ is something I see Dave E Jackson do and of course Joe McNally snd yeah you’re right, it just adds a little more interest.

      Thanks for dropping by; lovin’ your blog by the way.

      Cheers, Glyn

  3. Dan Davies

    Always good to see your photoshop work, and another vote for Silver Efex Pro. Presume you’re using a tablet rather than a mouse?

    Also nice to see your drawing skills progressing 🙂

    • Glyn

      Thanks for that Dan and yeah definitely another vote for Silver Efex Pro. I’m not a big user of plug ins but this one is a must.

      Intuos 4 tablet is what I use; in fact I use it all the time even when browsing the net etc so my mouse has become pretty much redundant. That being said, it still hasn’t improved my drawing skills…lol

      Thanks for stopping by mate,
      Must look at catching up in the near future.


  4. Noel

    Hi Glyn,
    great simple and effective shot … as usual! Simple idea made into something extraordinary.

    best of luck

    • Glyn

      Nice one Noel, thanks for that.
      See you soon.

  5. Scot Baston

    Thanks Glyn… loved the ideas and details of the shoot, and yes it does remind me of Joe McNally’s shoot through the windows shots.

    Really enjoyed the video footage, the speed of it forces me to wake up and concentrate. is there any chance of running it at full hd?



    • Glyn

      Hi Scot,
      Thanks for looking in mate. The video was uploaded in HD so should be ok. By default it plays at 320p but you should see an option on the bottom right to play at 720p…hopefully anyway 🙂

      Have a great week mate and thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Cheers, Glyn

  6. Simon

    Excellent informative blog as usual Glyn! Sometimes the simplest way of doing things are the best.. The fence certainly adds something to these shots…

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas..



    • Glyn

      Thanks for the kind words Simon; I really appreciate it.

      Just a thought, but would you think covering this kind of stuff would be good during the tester workshop on the 8th? ….time permitting ofcourse.


  7. David Kelly

    Hi Glynn – looks like you’re not the only one up early today from the posts here 😉
    Thanks for another informative posting – it’s certainly helping a lighting novice such a myself get some tips on things to try when I get some time. I’d be interested in knowing a bit more about the positioning of the light source. You mentioned the flash was ~1m from the fence, but how much higher was it positioned on the stand relative to Cameron?
    Regards, David

    • Glyn

      Hi David.

      It’s great to hear that the posts are useful. Regarding the positioning of the light for this series of shots, after a bit of experimentation the best results and more natural ones were when the flash head was about 12″ higher than Cameron and then aimed down so that the light illuminated his face and then feathered off as it went down his chest.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Thanks again for stopping by,
      All the best to you,
      Glyn 🙂

  8. Barbara

    Lovely B&W portrait work.

    • Glyn

      Thanks Barbara 🙂

  9. DaveT

    Thanks for the information and diagram – it’s a real help. I also like the way that you showed the actual location as one of the images – it helps to see that even the simplist of locations can be used effectively with the right vision and knowledge.

    BTW Damien Lovegrove refers to objects placed between the light source and subject- to create a pattern- as ‘dingle’.

    Look forward to catching you on the 8th

    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks for dropping by mate. Glad the ‘location’ shot was helpful too; that’s what I love about lighting…the ability to make a location look and feel completely different.

      A ‘dingle’ you say…in that case I’m gonna have to come up with my own name…how about ‘A Watchamecallit’ 🙂

      Cheers, Glyn

  10. Andy Cuadra

    Fantastic Glyn- as always, you keep opening up a world of possibilities. Keep working that 85mm…


    • Glyn

      @Andy…Gotta love that 85mm. i’m enjoying the exercise too having to move my a$$ to zoom in or out…lol 🙂



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