Studio photography workshop

After having my arm strongly twisted, I ran a studio lighting photography session this weekend. Packing down ten weeks of Central St Martins course into six hours on Saturday (with time out for a nice lunch!), was quite tiring but ultimately I hope, successful.

I gave a handwaving introduction contrasting natural light with studio light: natural light means we have little or no control; in the studio with powerful lights we have ultimate control.

Then we ran through a few basic setups:

  • Full, model-style three light setup. No contrast. Boring but it’s what they like.
  • Turned off two lights, moved the big softbox off to one side, got nice contrast on the face.
  • Snooted one of the lights and pointed it at the model’s hair. It’s a bit cheesy when it’s overdone but can be nice.
  • Then we added a fan for that wild, blowy look. As our model had lovely golden tresses, this worked really well. Getting the fan too close can be a problem though!
  • After lunch, we acquired our male model and moved to a more masculine-friendly contrasty setup. One big softbox off to the side and a couple of black scrims to fully subtract any stray bouncing light.

With that, it was time for the pub and to discuss “what is art?” and “how can you tell if art is good?”. In the last ten years I’ve had two artist girlfriends and on art historian so even though I’m a techie at heart, I feel like I’m beginning to get a feel for it all so I’m happy to call a Rothko blob of colour good art!

I’ve got a few people on hold for another session, so if you’re interested, let me know and we’ll fix a date!

Thanks to Ania for the pic, I was too busy to take more than a couple of photos the whole day. One of my pictures on Flickr is here. Look at that yummy catchlight. I was even caught in a few pictures. Update: New session for October!

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