1. Our location for the two Nordic Beauty workshops was an old farmhouse set on a small hill overlooking a Viking burial mound and a lake 100 miles long.
2. Camilla was our model and revelled in the sunlight that was bestowed upon us.
Here are 80 of my pictures shot using the Fuji X-T1 in jpeg mode. I shot RAWs too but don’t have a means of processing them yet. I switched the camera to monochrome and did any final tweaks in Lightroom. Jpegs have very little latitude for adjustment so I’ve pretty much left them as shot. Enjoy!
Location: Sveinhaug Gård
Hair: Chris Thomas at Kutt&Chriss of Hamar
Make up: Kathrine Holmen at Kutt&Chriss of Hamar
Project management in Norway: Chris Thomas
Project management in the UK: Blaise and Laura at Passion
Camera: Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 lenses
Lighting: Lupolux 800 spotlight, Scattergels, Canon 580EX2 Speedlight, Lastolite Ezybox
3. With hazy sun I could only manage an open aperture of f/2 with the 56mm lens even with the ISO set to ‘L’ and using 1/4000th second shutter speed. I suggest a 4 Stop ND filter is a perfect companion when shooting in sunlight if you want to work the 56mm lens at or near f/1.2
4. When shooting into the sun I showed the delegates my white shirt reflector trick. (56mm lens at f/1.2 for 1/2000th second at ISO 200)
5. Simple contré jour techniques need careful exposure.
6. I love working with shades of grey. I used the Bg film simulation in camera (monochrome with a green filter) along with H-1, S-1, NR-2, S -1 and DR at 100%
7. Sensitivity and fun captured effortlessly on the Fuji X-T1 camera and 56mm f/1.2 lens. This combination is so lovely to use. At no point did I feel at a disadvantage even with a group of well equipped professional shooters using a Hasselblad 5D, several top flight Canons and Nikons sporting their 85mm big guns. The Fuji was absolutely the right choice for me on this assignment. (56mm at f/1.4 for 1/1000th second at ISO 200)
8. The farmhouse was a great back drop for the exterior session. We had 5 photographer delegates each day plus a hair stylist and a make up artist.
9. We were really toasty warm when shooting the interiors because there were fully functioning vintage wood burning stoves throughout the building providing the heat. (top: 56mm at f/1.6 for 1/250th second at ISO 400)
10. I used a Lupolux 800 HMI spotlight provided by Chris the hair stylist and clipped a Scattergel to the barn doors to create this dappled effect.
11. I showed how I use a classic triflector to take control of contrast in back lit scenes. (56mm at f/1.2 for 1/160th second at ISO 800)
12. There were times I showed how I use a single Speedlight in manual mode to create beauty shots like these three on the right and bottom. Controlling the contrast is vital in order to capture printable files. I was working in jpeg so it was doubly important for me to get it right in camera. (56mm at f/2.2 for 1/180th second at ISO 400)
13. We shot low key and high key with the emphasis on getting the ‘look’ right in camera by using feedback or feedforward in the case of the X-T1 rather than using light meters or histograms.
14. The 56mm lens was perfect to capture these head shots.
15. The top picture is a reflection shot and all three shots are lit with a Speedlight. Two of them use a Lastolite Ezybox and the bottom right shot is lit with a barefaced Speelight.
16. These gems were lit with the Lupolux 800 Fresnel Spotlight with an ‘Alto’ Scattergel fitted. The Alto Scattergel has a cloud pattern inspired by Alto Cumulus. (top 56mm at f/1.2 for 1/180th second at ISO 640)
18. I believe that hard light from a Fresnel light really is the most beautiful light to use for portraiture. When it is combined with a wide aperture like f/1.2 it becomes a classic look so different from the flashed portraits of the last 40 plus years.
19. Classic two point lighting is my style and here it is in a room set. I shot each scene wide on the 23mm lens before going in for the close ups on the 35mm and 56mm lenses. The halation on the bed head and foot boards is created with the aid of a Tiffen 1/4 black pro mist filter on the 23mm lens.
21. The yellow bedroom proved popular. You’ll have to take my word for it because I shot everything black and white in camera. I have the RAW files too so I can process the images in colour when Adobe Lightroom gets full support for the X-T1 files. (23mm at f1.8 for 1/125th second at ISO 400)
22. Every frame over the two days of workshops was shot hand held. I was expecting three stops less light and having to use monopods but we were blessed with rare sunlight that just rattled around the rooms. I made my own sunlight here with the Lupo 800 spotlight.
23. Camilla was a star entertaining my ideas as we created figure enhancing beauty shots. (56mm at f/2.2 for 1/125th second at ISO 400)
24. Various ways we shot through doors. The top two are lit with a Speedlight and the bottom shot is lit with reflected afternoon sunlight. (23mm at f/1.4 for 1/125th second at ISO 800)
25. All my interior pictures were filtered on the lens with Tiffen Black Pro Mists. I had a 1/4 strength on the 23mm and 35mm lenses and a 1/8th strength on the 56mm lens. You can see the ‘lift’ and halation I get from the filters quite easily in this set.
26. End of the day light (35mm at f/1.4 for 1/125th second at ISO 1600)
27. This is the blue room.
28. Simple beauty shots taken into the light with the 56mm lens wide open at f/1.2 (56mm at f/1.2 for 1/250th second at ISO 800)
29. The sunlight is from the Lupo 800. I closed the doors to block off any real sunlight and we started from scratch. The fill light is from a window just to the left of me. (35mm at f/2.2 for 1/180th second at ISO 400)
30. How much exposure? came the question. How much do you want? was my reply. There really is no right answer it is a matter of personal taste. I got what I want in camera because I knew there would be very little latitude with the jpegs in post production.
32. (35mm at f/1.4 for 1/250th second at ISO 800)
33. A bit of fun was had by all :)
34. (56mm at f/1.2 for 1/250th second at ISO 800)
35. How simple can it get? Wonderful natural light is all around us. With the right know how and understanding finding perfect portrait lighting set ups in everyday places is easy. These soft light beauty shots were taken on the 56mm lens wide open at f/1.2. It’s not easy to nail the focus because the depth of field is so shallow. However with practice and care it should be fine.
My next boudoir adventure in Holland in May is already sold out for both days. Here are the details. Then I’m with Benny Ottoson in Sweeden on 6th and 7th May for Boudoir and ‘Into The Light’ training. Places are selling fast. Here are the details. If you would like me to visit your country to run boudoir, figure in the landscape or photographing couples workshops please get in touch with Blaise or Laura.
Wow! what a few days I had in Norway. Many thanks go to my creative team and hosts. Special thanks go to Åse Midtveit and Chris Thomas for wonderful hospitality. Chris Thomas – you are a star for making it happen, thank you. I’ll be back!
Please feel free to comment on these pictures or ask questions.