1. The beautiful Carla Monaco lit with a single Lupolux Quadlight 1500 with the new grid attachment. Heavenly light for a classical look.
I shot all of these 33 pictures using the Fujifilm X-Pro1 with the 18-55mm zoom lens and a Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/8th filter attached. One camera, one lens and up to two lights at any time for a simple yet stylish shoot. I had 5 delegates with me and we shot all day in the sumptuous Hilton Hotel in Manchester. We were in the Cloud 23 bar all morning and then after a delightful lunch we moved to the corridors and reception areas for the afternoon shoot.
2. A single light can be so effective if it has a lens and barn doors. I used the Lupolux DayLED 1000 for this shot.
Dresses: Lisa Keating
Makeup and hair styling: Emma MacKenzie
Model: Carla Monaco
3. We lit Carla with a pair of Speedlights on a Lovegrove Gemini bracket rigged with a silver umbrella.
I worked with a narrow gamut and aimed for a harmony of colour hues.
4. Carla has wonderful lines to light. Same lighting set up as above.
5. We moved over to the window with the Gemini rig for this full length shot.
6. I love to really explore the balance and structure of a face from different angles. I totally love this angle and the delicate curves that are scribed by Carla’s ¾ profile. Emma’s fabulous work with Carla’s hair and make up completes the look.
7. A splash of Gemini flash was used for this shot too.
8. The Manchester skyline was underexposed by a couple of stops to make this dramatic shot lit with a pair of bare faced Speedlights.
9. The Gemini combo worked well for this shot.
10. We explored different framing options and I opted for the 18mm end of my Fujifilm zoom to pull in the ceiling.
11. The low viewpoint and the Gemini Speedlight combo makes this shot.
Fashion shoots for a designer have to show the whole dress from the front back and ¾ views plus we have to shoot the details too. This workshop was aimed at those photographers wanting to offer their brides a fashion shoot type experience. I gave less attention to the dress than I would do on a commercial shoot and I gave Carla a bit more of a role and prominence.
12. I can’t resist reflections.
13. It’s not like me to play with colours but I thought I’d blend cool shadows with warm highlights on a couple of shots. Straight colour is always my favourite choice.
14. Lit with the Lupolux Quadlight in the same set up as picture 1.
15. Black and white is more of a distortion than cross processed colour as we never see our world in black and white, but I love it.
16. I chose a ground level viewpoint for this shot lit with the Lupolux DayLED 1000 spotlight.
17. The Lupolux spotlight light delivers such a flattering light with crisp hard shadows.
18. Carla is such an experienced model that she can really be left to her own devices on a shoot. I like to take control a bit too much but perhaps it’s because I’ve photographed over 400 weddings for non models who needed help posing.
19. I showed the group how to make a wedding dress shine.
20. Carla looks fabulous in this pose. The dress is divine too. I could see this shot on the cover of a 1940’s Brides magazine.
21. I never rule out the passport pose, square on and emotionless to deliver a striking shot. This is down to breath taking beauty and simple complimentary light.
22. We explored the simple reflections of our Speedlight based lighting rig in the brushed stainless doors of the lift. I spent a lot of time on my knees on this workshop.
23. A fleeting moment caught. Perfect for one of those black and white cards with speech bubble captions. What would your caption be? Best answer in the comments below gets a complimentary download of my next video production due out in February (2013).
24. With the build up to my Film Noir workshops in full flow I had to show some simple Hollywood lighting techniques using just two Lupolux spotlights.
25. The halation is caused by light scatter on the Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter attached permanently on my 18-55mm Fujinon zoom lens.
26. Again, just two lights were used for this shot that looks like it was lit with three.
27. The Manchester Hilton has a fabulous staircase that comes alive with light after dark.
28. The Lupolux DayLED 650 spotlight was used through dingle for this shot. The warm glow is coming from uplighters in the floor.
29. A bit of clever dickery was used for this shot under the stairs. I’m not sure I like it but it shows we were looking and trying. It’s good to make mistakes. It’s better still to admit them at the time and move on quickly.
30. Using a spotlight with a lens and a set of barn doors you can control where the light doesn’t fall. Sometimes this is very important to isolate the subject.
31. It was completely dark in this stairwell. The Hilton is lit with pools of light.
33. Sometimes a face draws me in. Carla has one of those faces. I’m going to share an obsovation with you. Look how level Carla’s eyes are in this picture. Now look at shot 21. When I was a lighting director at the BBC we learned how to create symmetry in faces using light and camera angles. It pays to really look at the person you are shooting.
This was my first shoot with Carla and I am very excited about our next shoot together. Take a look at this! Carla and I would love you to join us. There are just two places left (at the time of writing) and I’ll be mood boarding the shoot this weekend.
Please feel free to comment below.