For a recent one to one workshop we took Danielle into the centre of Newcastle. The theme of the workshop was to be Winter Fashion, so bring out the big coats. As it was the weather was more windy than winter, but we made the most of our urban location.During such workshops we usually start with some images using natural lighting as it is very important to learn how to use ambient lighting to create some nice images. Our model today was Danielle and she is really good to work with as she will pose all day and will help by providing ideas during the shoot. This makes the shoot move along easily.

We then try some simple ideas using one speedlight, first via TTL then using radio triggers. Once you have a set up it is important to explore all positions around the subject, shooting from different angles as this will result in some different looks.

Moving on we try some different locations and introduce more complex lighting setups by using a hair light, to give a bit of texture to the image. In the final location, inside an empty shopping arcade, it was really effective dragging the shutter and introducing some of the ambient light from the spots in the roof.

Finally I tried a technique of introducing a bit of flair into the shot to try and give it a frosty look. It sort of works, but let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

Trying Something Different

There are many times in life where we can become stuck in our ways and always take the easy route. Photography is no different. We all have set ups that work every time whether it be certain camera/lens combinations, camera settings or lighting set ups. I certainly have found myself in recent times throwing up a tried and tested light set up in the studio. I know that the simple set up will produce good results every time. However sometimes it can be good to mix it up and try something a bit different to achieve a different effect. 

I had some time in the studio recently and have gone back to basics to try and do something different with one light. First off I used a lastolite octabox and decided to shoot into it with the model basically touching the diffuser fabric with her cheek (see above image). The great thing with the Octa is the nice quality of light you get especially with the model so close to it and it tends to wrap round the subjects face. This gives some nice texture in the shot. You have to turn the strobe right down to its lowest setting and it is quite important to measure the light with a lightmeter as the cameras histogram will big up the blown highlights from the background. I now use a lightmeter in all my studio work and as much as possible on location.


In the above image I used a single strobe with a simple reflector set at a 45 degree angle behind the model pointing into the camera. Again I used a lightmeter to measure the correct exposure. Using the strobe with just the reflector gives a very harsh and contrasty light and I particularly think it works well in black and white. For my black and whites I generally use silverfx pro from NIK software, but this one was achieved in Adobe Lightroom.