1. One of the last images of the day was this ballerina with attitude shot. I can hear the screams now “Balerinas don’t wear nail varnish” Luke my picture editor decided to have fun with the split toning facility in Lightroom and I love the results.
I’ve been shooting regularly in my studio for about three years now and I’m finding the restrictions it puts on me to be very useful in defining my repetoir and house style. If I had a big studio I could easily get lost in the multitude of options open to me. Too much choice limits the creative process. Sketching at home with charcoal and chalks is strangely satisfying. I’d hate to but let loose in an artists shop with the instruction ‘use anything you want to create your piece of art’. No matter what I produced I’d be left feeling that I had not made the most of the opportunity I was given. It would be an inevitable dissapointment. When I hear the words, ‘I wish I had one of those lights’ or ‘I wish my studio was bigger’ I say to myself ‘are you sure? Have you really thought it through? The appeal of limitations is bourn out in camera phone apps like Hipstomatic and Shake it Photo. Something from nothing always impresses us. Perhaps that’s why it’s easy to be impressed with pictures from a Fujifilm X100 compact camera. The same shot taken on a £20,000 Leica S2 camera wouldn’t be significantly better. It’s not the kit that matters it’s what you do with it.
In picture 1 above I lit Stina from the front and above with a 40cm beauty dish fitted with a honecomb grid that I bought on Ebay. I used a 15cm reflector with a narrow grid as a back light / kicker and a further 15cm grid to put a pool of light on my paper background. Three lights, all of them are fairly hard sources at the distance that I rigged them.
2. A very basic beauty lighting set up was fine tuned with a coloured gel from the Lovegrove collection. The background is a grey wall.
3. All these pictures were taken on a studio lighting training session. I teach all these techniques and capture shots like these on every studio lighting workshop that I run. At 6m x 7m my studio is big enough for 3 deligates or perfect for 1:1 sessions.
4. Black and white beauty.
5. This next sequence of 6 shots shows the variety of looks that can make up a multi frame or striking album layout. (Lovegrove studio collection gel 20)
6. (Lovegrove studio collection gel 18)
7. (Lovegrove studio collection gel 2)
8. I love black and white for expression shots.
10. Strike a pose – Vogue
11. One softbox and one reflector was all I used for this simple shot.
12. I teach use of controlled flare and controlled contrast in the studio environment. I love to use extremes of exposure too from f/16 @ 1/125 100 ISO down to f/2.8 @ 1/13 ISO 1600
13. Lit with a Lupo as a key light. Crisp hard shadows reveal cheakbones and jawlines. The kick/ backlight was from an open door.
14. Subtle tones and simple two point lighting. I used a soft key light and a hard kick light for this shot of Stina.
15. I used just one main soft light rigged intimately close and a bit of contrast control for this portrait.
16. One Lupo and a splash of modeling light from a studio head fitted with a tight grid.
17. A slash of light from my Lupo 1200
18. A Lupo 1200 and my Venetian blind provided the lighting here.
23. Lit with a Lupo bounced off my magic silver reflector.
25. I love to have fun with smoke. This is spray can smoke and has quite a big particle size that can be clearly seen at 100%
26.Even when it’s a bit over done it can produce interesting results.
27.Two grided 15cm reflectors were used to light this simple ballet portrait.
28. The fine control of key light and back light is important to get right at the moment of exposure.
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Please feel free to ask questions or comment on the pictures.