Carla Monaco wears a silk chiffon dress designed by Lisa Keating. I lit Carla with an Elinchrom Quadra and a Maxi Spot 40cm 29º Reflector.

01. Carla Monaco wears a sheer silk chiffon dress designed by Lisa Keating. I lit Carla with an Elinchrom Quadra and a Maxi Spot 40cm 29º Reflector. Fuji X-Pro1 with 18-55mm lens at f/6.4, 1/125th second using ISO 200. I used a three stop ND filter to keep the lens at a sensible aperture.

Model: Carla Monaco
Photography: Damien Lovegrove
Styling: Carla Monaco, Lisa Keating and Damien Lovegrove
Make up: Carla Monaco

NSFW after the jump

02. This is the first in a series of three natural light shots in the same location.

02. This is the first in a series of three natural light shots taken in the same location.

Fuerteventura was the setting for this wonderful figure in the landscape ‘Big Picture’ two day workshop. The 2014 event is booking up here.

The small island of Fuerteventura is just off the coast of Africa and while it was snowing in the UK we basked in 26º sunshine. This is just the second time I’ve shot with Carla so I arranged a recce and a practice shoot the day before the workshop. I had done a provisional recce of the island and a shoot with my mate and fellow tutor Martin Hill at the same time in 2012. So we knew it was going to be amazing. This recce with Carla was just to refresh my memory and check that everything was still okay. Together we mapped out our shoot locations, decided on the styling for each zone and planned the lighting set ups.

03.

03. This is one of my favourites from the shoot in the sand dunes of Corralejo.

04.

04.

Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Fujifilm Lenses: 14mm f/2.8, 18mm-55mm zoom f/2.8-4, 35mm f/1.4, 60mm f/2.4
Filters: Hoya circular polariser and ND x8

Lighting: Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit – (best UK prices guaranteed here)

05. Taken on the recce, this shot was lit with the

05. Taken on the recce, this shot was lit with the same Elinchrom Quadra and Maxi Spot reflector as I used in shot 01. Notice the three stop contrast ratio in the shadow under Carla’s chin.

06. The Elinchrom Quadra really does pack a punch. You can see the shadow of the sun in the foreground and that from the Quadra head in the background.

06. The Elinchrom Quadra really does pack a punch. You can see the hard shadow from the sun in the foreground and a softer shadow from the Quadra head in the background. Fuji zoom lens at 52mm and f/11 for 1/125th second at ISO200. ND x8 Filter.

07. This is a naturally lit shot of Carla on the dunes.

07. This is a naturally lit shot of Carla on the dunes. 60mm lens at f/8 for 1/500th second at ISO 200.

08. Grace, elegance and design.

08. Grace, elegance and design.

09. I copied this shot from Radmilla Kerl, one of my delegates. She has a fantastic eye for detail and beauty.

09. I copied this natural light shot from Radmila Kerl, one of my delegates who flew in from Munich. She has a fantastic eye for capturing detail and beauty. This really was a coming together of creative passionate photographers for some inspiration time. The next year event details are here.

10. One of my trademark lighting styles using the sun as a back light and the Quadra as the key light.

10. I lit Carla with one of my trademark lighting styles using the sun as a back light and the Quadra as the key light.

11. Soft beauty shots were captured using reflected light once we had made our way to the first set of ruins.

11. We captured soft beauty shots using reflected light once we had made our way to the first set of ruins.

12. The colour palette was calm and the contrast low. This is the perfect location to capture depth and rapport in

12. The colour palette was calm and the contrast low. This is the perfect type of location to capture deep and soulful images.

13.

13.

14. I like strength of character

14. I like Carla’s strength of character in this shot. I directed a diagonal in her shoulder line and chose a central composition to match the drama of her look.

15. The sun came and went throughout the two days of shooting. We rarely used it to directly light Carla but when we did the results were fabulous.

15. The sun came and went throughout the two days of shooting. We rarely used it to directly light Carla but when we did the results were fabulous.

16. This spot on the recce day was bathed in flat light. On the workshop day it was sun lit as you can see in shot

16. This spot on the recce day was bathed in flat light. On the workshop day it was sun lit as you can see in shots 39 and 40.

17.

17. Here was the first time we used the Quadra with a 40cm Silver brolly. The softer shadows tell the story of the size and direction of the light source. I used the zoom lens on my Fuji at 18mm for this shot. The zoom at 18mm is sharper from wide open than the pancake prime lens of the same focal length, especially in the corners.

18. Another shot taken with the silver umbrella.

18. Another shot taken with the silver umbrella. I felt this room was a bit like a cell.

19. In the same space but with reflected natural light.

19. In the same space but with reflected natural light.

20. We went with big hair for this Bridget Bardot look.

20. We went with big hair for this Bridget Bardot look.

21.

21. This softly lit beauty shot uses the light from a simple reflector and a strong look from Carla completes the picture.

22. By contrast I used just sunlight for this powerful frame.

22. By contrast I used just sunlight for this powerful frame. Keeping the sun off Carla’s face is crucial to get this shot to work. Her shadow on the wall keeps the shot real. I love Carla’s curls in this shot.

23. Reflected sunlight makes this next sequence special.

23. Reflected sunlight makes this next sequence special. Knowing how to find and use great light is the key to the ruins section of this two day workshop.

Carla is a very experienced art nude model and can really shape herself beautifully.

24. Carla is a very experienced art nude model and can really shape herself beautifully. The colours of the walls in this room were perfect for this sequence of shots.

26. I showed hoy to use the Quadra from behind to create the illusion of sunlight coming through a hole in the roof.

26. I showed how to use the Quadra from behind to create the illusion of sunlight coming through a hole in the roof.

27.

27.

28.

28.

29. End of the day sunlight is a joy to use when it can be controlled and reflected.

29. End of the day sunlight is a joy to use when it can be controlled and reflected.

30.

30.

31. I used

31. I used the simple reflector and translucent cover to light this shot of Carla in an extraordinary building.

32. Palms, a volcano and Carla Monaco.

32. Palms, a volcano and Carla Monaco.

33.

33.

A dead tree added to the mix. I shot this on the recce day but we did not use the tree on the workshop.

34. A dead tree added to the mix. I shot this on the recce day but I find the tree a little distracting.

35.

35.

36. A simple over the shoulder look in my trademark style.

36. A simple over the shoulder look in my trademark dipped chin style where the shoulder provides a barrier to keep mystery in the picture.

37. I love to go in for beauty shots with my 60mm lens wide open at f/2.4

37. I love to go in for beauty shots with my 60mm lens wide open at f/2.4

38. There were times when we used shadow patterns in our picture design.

38. There were times when we used shadow patterns in our picture design. I lit Carla with a bare faced Quadra in this shot.

39. Bamboo roofing from a camel feeding station had collapsed into the room. I used it as a gobo.

39. Bamboo roofing from a camel feeding station had collapsed into the room. I used it as a gobo.

40. The shadows from the bamboo draw contours on Carlas body.

40.

41. The big picture figure in the landscape shot taken at the camel house.

41. The big picture figure in the landscape shot taken at the camel house using sunlight as a key.

42. Notice how similar the shadow is on Carla only this time she is lit with the Quadra set up as shown in shot 43 below.

42. Notice how similar the shadow is on Carla only this time she is lit with the Quadra set up as shown in shot 43 below.

43. The set up for my shot above. These delegates were getting a more funky low angle wide shot with the sun in the frame too.

43. The set up for my shot above. These delegates were getting a more funky low angle wide shot with the sun in the frame too. There were 6 delegates, Carla and me. The Quadra was being powered with the new lithium batteries and they went on for ever. We must have got well over 400 full power shots from each battery. We never quite exhausted two of the three batteries I had with me each day, even with seven shooters.

44.

44.

45. I decided to take the tutu I bought for my Black Swan workshop last month.

45. I decided to take the tutu I bought for my Black Swan workshop last month.

46. This was my favourite shot with the tutu. Polka dot shadows are fab.

46. This was my favourite shot with the tutu. Polka dot shadows are fab.

47. Carla in full sun and lit with full power Quadra.

47. Carla in full sun and lit with full power Quadra.

48. A wide shot showing the isolation and rugged landscape of Fuerteventura.

48. A wide shot showing the isolation and rugged landscape of Fuerteventura.

49. Next it was time for the beach.

49. Next it was time for the beach.

50.

50.

51. The Quadra worked wonders here too.

51. The Quadra on full power worked wonders here too.

52.

52.

53. Full power Quadra here too.

53. Full power Quadra here too.

Please feel free to comment on these shots. We covered quite a lot of styles, locations and genres over the two days. I don’t hang around on these events. We shoot as a team and never move on until everyone has their shots. We have fun together in the evenings and to many delegates these events are life enriching and some would say life changing.

Don’t just dream it, do it.

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40 Responses

  1. Radmila Kerl

    Thank you for your kind words Damien, your pictures are just fantastic as I knew they would. What an event this was! I highly recommend to book this workshop to everyone who would like to push the own boundaries to the next level and create something amazing for the portfolio – let alone the fantastic time we had had together!

    (the chateaubriand steak was just delicious by the way :)

    Reply
  2. Lee Jolley

    What can I say but thank you so much for another mind blowing experience. Carla is incredible. So versatile, so beautiful and so easy to shoot and get along with. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet some fantastic new ones. I loved using the Quadras they are a fantastic piece of kit. All of the images are top class as always and below are some comments on my favourites :)

    1 – Absolutely beautiful. I want to be there!
    6 – Very cool
    8 – Love
    11-14 – Wow!!
    15 – Sexy chic
    16 – Wow
    19 – Gorgeous
    20 – Beautiful
    21 – Insanely beautiful
    23 – Incredible
    24 – Out the park just amazing
    25 – Love
    26 – Love the look
    30 – Gorgeous
    37 – Not enough words to describe how gorgeous
    38 – Very cool
    40 – Love love
    41 – Love the drama and colours fantastic!
    43 – It’s me!!! :)
    46 – Cheeky ;)
    49 – Like a beautiful mermaid :)
    50 – Just gorgeous!
    51 – Amazing

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for your laid back friendship and of course for your wonderful comments.The double plank is the stuff of legends. Stay inspired. We’ll get a reunion together soon :) Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  3. damien

    Thank you Radmila. Thanks for coming all the way from Germany. Great moments and fun shared in the sun. :)

    Reply
  4. Thorsten

    I had seen some of Carla’s FB updates indicating that she was over in Fuertaventura, but didn’t realise it was for this! :) What a fantastic series of images. I can only imagine how much everyone must have enjoyed this – I’m just a little bit jealous ;)

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Thorsten,

      The post shoot fun was as full on as the shoot itself :) I kept the lighting simple but with stratedgic design.

      See you soon, best regards, Damien

      Reply
  5. Martin Hill

    Wow what a set of images, absolutely stunning. Carla looks incredible and I’m sure will be in high demand once these amazing images are released.

    Up another notch buddy, always setting the standard! Congrats!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Martin,

      I missed you buddy. The fun was great but I had to work just that bit harder without you. I’ll ring you re Spain. I can’t wait to shoot with you again soon.

      Cheers Buddy, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Theressa Putland

    ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What beautiful art. These are not photographs, these are pure art. wonderful.

    Reply
  7. Carla Monaco

    What an amazing time we all had out there, thank you Damien for asking me to go, how could I say no lol, thank you to all the photographers, I am so pleased with what we achieved.
    Fantastic time with fantastic people :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Carla,

      I know it’s been said before but I’ll say it again. You were and are fabulous. I think this arty genre really suits you and I’m going to book you again for sure.

      Kindest regards and respect,

      Damien.

      Reply
  8. John Charlton

    Amazing set of images – I love the posing as it comes across as so natural and effortless with great lines in the images.Brilliant use of light really makes the images shine as having that Lovegrove feel to them

    Reply
    • damien

      You are very kind John,

      Carla and I worked hard on the posing. Carla is excellent at creating beautiful body shapes but my style is for a more relaxed and natural look. We spent a day shooting together just prior the workshop in order to fine tune our posing and expressions. The lighting was kept simple but true to my style and I’m delighted with the results.

      Best regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  9. Bernard Doughty

    Although I could only be there for one day with you, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt soooo much! It was just what I needed to spur me on. I would love to repeat the experience in the future. A special thanks to Carla for being such a fantastic model and to the other photographers on the course who collectively made Fuerteventura a very creative experience.

    Thank you for everything Damien,
    best regards, Bernard

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Bernard,

      You were very welcome. What a great time we had together. I’ll never forget this day.

      Take care and I’ll see you next year :)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  10. damien

    Hi Theressa,

    I’m glad you agree. Many thanks for your compliments about my work.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Paul. I isolate subjects with focus, contrast or tone. Focus is often the best option :)

      Reply
  11. Duncan Langtree

    Superb and inspirational work. I love the “cleanliness” of the light matched by very pure compositions and a very pure looking model :) The palm tree nude sway was my highlight but there are so many, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  12. Dominic Wright

    Super awesome images, love ’em, love ’em, love ’em. As ever amazing use of light Damien and so inspiring. I really need to come on this course next time you’re running it. Oh yeh and Carla pretty hot too :)

    Reply
  13. Aneil Sharma

    Brilliant set of images in particular numbers: 1, 2, 6, 7, 18, 20, 21, 26, 32, 39, 41, 48 and 51.

    This particular blog and set of images pains me as much as it delights me… I so wish I was there :'(

    Sign me up for 2014 :D

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Phillip,

      It took a preliminary 3 day trip and lots of studying Google Earth including tourists photographs to identify locations. The 3 day recce trip was to sort logistics, hotels, lunches, facilities, risk assesment, privicy plus lighting direction at different times of the day etc. I’m off to Italy in 10 days time to do a 4 day recce for the countryside part of my trip in October. I’ve already recced the Venice part with my mate Chris Hanley. Details of that trip are here: http://www.passionphotographyexperience.com/photography_training_in_italy.aspx

      There is no replacement for being there in advance. Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  14. Ger Rutten

    Did you use the black mist pro 1/8 as always? Wonderful pictures!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Ger,

      I use the 1/4 black pro mist for obvious effect in hard lit interiors and I use the 1/8th for subtle lift and halation. There are only a few times I’ll use them out in daylight as they create quite an obvious ethereal look if I’m not careful.

      Regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  15. mike

    Absolutely beautiful images.
    Just got a question,when you are using a polariser or nd filter,to get a f stop to suit,does that mean you have to add more power from your flash to compensate for the difference .

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mike,

      Adding ND or polarisers results in an opening of the aperture to compensate. The flash power and the ambient exposure remain unchanged. The only change is as a result of a wider aperture.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  16. Tom

    Hi Damien,

    please consider running a workshop like this one in New Zealand. You’ll love the country and the participating photographers will love you!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Tom,

      I will try and visit NZ soon. It’s a long way to go but it’s worth it I hear. I’ve made it to Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Jakarta, Cambodia and Singapore. I just need to make an extra hop to get out to NZ.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply

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About The Author

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

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