Lighting Winter Wedding DVD ~ Kit, & Settings

Feb 12, 2009 | Wedding | 21 comments

Here is all you need to know about the equipment we used during the making of Lighting Winter Weddings.

Julie’s Kit:

Nikon D200 without battery grip (3 years old) We resisted the temptation to upgrade the camera and we are waiting for the D700x. It has saved us the cost of a D300 and a D700 by doing so.
Nikon 17mm – 35mm f/2.8 lens
Nikon 28mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens (Julie now has the new 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens)
Nikon 70mm – 200mm f/2.8 VR lens
Unbranded camera batteries from
Hoya plus 4 and a plus 2 Dioptre 77mm

Manfrotto carbon fibre monopod
Manfrotto 486 RC2 ball head with 2 camera plates.
Note: The extra quick release plate is mounted in reverse on the 70mm – 200mm lens bracket to allow vertical use without crushing hand.

Julie uses a Nikon SB800 flash fitted with it’s own diffuser and connected to the camera with a SC29 lead. She also has an SU800 commander for remote triggering her second SB800 because the CLS on the D200 has too much delay for wedding work.

Billingham 445 camera bag


Damien’s kit:

Canon 5D camera
Canon 16mm – 35mm MK2, f/2.8 lens (not the sharpest lens I’ve seen)
Canon 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 lens
Canon 70mm – 200mm f/2.8 IS lens unbranded batteries
Hoya plus 4 and a plus 3 Dioptre 77mm

580EX ll flash ( I prefer the mkl version because it has a simple switch to go between remote and local use rather than the palaver of sub menu navigation.
STE2 transmitter Tip: The lower red lens pops of the front of these units from time to time. I Super Glued mine on to prevent this.
Sto-Fen Omnibounce diffuser

Manfrotto 684b monopod. No longer available – replaced with a far clumsier, heavier version with unnecessary safety catches and foot plates etc.
Manfrotto 486RC2 ball head

Billingham 445 camera bag


Lighting kit:

Arri 300w Junior Fresnel spotlight

Luxman dimable video light with a Bescor lead acid gel battery pack supplied as a kit by B&H in NY. Bear in mind the charger that came with it was for 120v 60 Hz so I sourced a replacement in the UK. My suggestion is to seek out an EU compatible light of equivalent specification.

Broncolor Mobil flash kit. I now have the latest Mobil kit with radio triggering built in. It also has useful asymmetric distribution of power to it’s 2 outputs.


The video trailer is here.

Please feel free to add reviews and comments on Lighting Winter Weddings here…


  1. damien

    Hi Joseph,

    It’s not the hardness of the light source that is the problem but it’s position. The stofen is not to soften the flash, it is to make it an omni directional light that can be held without it needing to be pointed in an accurate direction.

    Using flash on camera flattens pictures even if it is modified. Yes, a Lightsphere attached to on camera flash illuminates pictures but it does not make artistic pictures. It works best when the person you are photographing is looking at camera. So few of my wedding pictures have eye contact that I’d never use that kind of device anyway.

    Cheers, Damien.

  2. Joseph

    Hi Damien,
    I recently tested my friend’s lightsphere device and left the flashgun on camera instead of using it off camera with a sto-fen and I think that the results were excelent and I would like to have your thoughts about it.

    Thank You


  3. damien

    Hi Mark,

    I always use the centre focusing point. I point the camera at the feet of my client then as I put the camera 5′ in the air it is focussed on the eyes ;-). If I’m really wide – say 16mm then I pre focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene and all will be well.

    I hope this helps.


    PS: for real trickery check this out.

  4. Mark

    Hi Damien,

    Just watched both your new DVD’s and think they’re fab. One question I have is about your focusing technique, especially when you extend your monopod for those high vantage point shots? Are you manually focusing before you heft the camera high into the air, does the change in distance to the subjects not cause the focus point to change or is that not a worry given their distance from the camera?



  5. damien

    Hi Ion,

    It’s not easy to describe, You should get to see him at some point. I found Yervant’s workshop an eye opener and he is a jolly decent chap too.

    Regards, Damien.

  6. damien

    Hi Ion,

    Those are indeed the batteries I use in my 5D.


  7. damien

    Hi Ion,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Your disks are not faulty, they are copy protected using the same algorithms as used by Warner Bros etc. It’s a shame to have to do this but copies of my original lighting DVDs were being sold on ebay and other copyright abuses were brought to my attention so I was forced to protect my investment to ensure unauthorised copying is prevented. The good news for any Lovegrove Consulting customers is that if their discs get scratched or become damaged I can replace them free of charge.

    There were a few dye based discs that we distributed to preorder customers because our first glass mastered batch were faulty and replacements had to be sought in 24 hours.

    We will have a batch of the new silver bottomed discs with us at SWPP and at Focus. If you would like to swap your dye base discs we will do this on a swap basis. You don’t need to bring your original packaging, just the discs.

    Kindest regards,


  8. martin

    Hi David

    That makes me feel better about not springing the extra for the f/2.8. There are not many times that f/4 is a problem in the 17mm-24mm range.



  9. David Tillyer


    I used to Run the Technical Support team at one of the larger photographic retailers (infact on occasion Damien was one of my customers) and the 16-35mm was notoriously soft and the 17-40 always was highly commended on its sharpness. The MKII version is a marked improvement but still (in my humble opinion) not good enough given its price (especially when you consider how good Nikon’s 14-24mm is).


  10. martin

    I wonder if your 16-35 is a bad sample. My 17-40 is sharp and I can’t believe the f/2.8 is any worse.

  11. David Tillyer

    Hi Damien,

    I have just received the DVD’s (don’t worry, your delivery was spot on its just they had to go my Parents address and I haven’t had time to pick them up) and although I haven’t yet watched them I would like to commend you on the design and finish of the packaging. I truly feels like a quality product long before it has even hit the DVD player.

    Have a great Xmas and Happy New Year.


  12. damien

    Jason pointed out in another post that I’d missed out mentioning the metering settings that Julie and I use.

    It’s very remiss of me to leave out that key information. so here goes:

    My camera (5D) is set to (o) multipatterned or matrix metering mode. and Julie’s D200 was set to the Nikon equivalent.

    When I’m in Manual shooting mode I use the linear scale to assess the amount of plus or minus exposure compared to the cameras estimated correct exposure.

    When I’m shooting in Av (Aperture Value) or A (Aperture Priority) I count clicks on the wheels to set the exposure. Each click is exactly 1/3rd stop change.

    When I switch between Av and M on the 5D the aperture adjustment switches wheel. This is the single most annoying function of the 5D and I think it is still not sorted on the 5D mk2. I assumed you can change it in a menu but I’ve never found a way.

    Julie shoots in A mode all the time. I did too for 5 years or so but went to manual and adopted Yervant’s system a couple of years ago.

    I hope this helps.


  13. Cris Matthews

    Thanks Damien, that has given me a few more things to think about (and money to spend :) ).

    I was really impressed with the attention to detail in the packaging of these DVD’s.

    Thanks once again for all the hard work, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.



  14. damien

    Hi Cris,

    I come from a TV background and we used inexpensive continuous lighting all the time. It looks just as good when shooting stills as it does when making movies. Yes you can use flash but you can’t see what you are getting until you review the picture. I have a Fresnel attachment for my Broncolor flash that gives an identical look to the Arri. The Arri and it’s stand is about £450, the Bron with Fresnel and a stand is £2350. You also need to add a full CTO gell to the flash output to take the colour temperature down to 3200k.

    I hope this helps,


  15. Cris Matthews


    A fantastic DVD. Really useful to see how you set up the shots, I can’t wait to give it all a go!

    I have never used tungsten lighting as you demonstrate in the video, can you explain why you choose to use this type of lighting rather than flash? The results are impressive, and I was wondering if the same look could be reproduced using flash?

    Thanks to you and your team for all the hard work that has been obviously put into this production.



  16. Stan Seaton

    Hi Damien and Julie,

    The DVD,s are just FANTASTIC!!!!!!

    Well done to you both for such a Superb Product.

    Best Wishes,


  17. David Lowerson

    Hi Damien,

    Love both of the DVD’s – well done, the drinks are on me!

    Only one problem, getting grief from the wife as production at David Lowerson Photography has ground to a halt due to me watching these DVD’s.

    Take care, and have a fab Xmas.


  18. damien

    Thanks Chris,

    The project was harder than writing my book but now that it’s done I am really glad with our achievement. Thanks for your kind words.


  19. Chris

    Just a small post to the prophotonut blog readers.
    I received my beautifully packaged DVD’s and spent most of last night in front of the TV. The quality, production and presentation were as usual outstanding. The content is invaluable to photographers wanting to take their photography to another level. Enlightening to the enthusiast or student who is thinking of becoming a wedding photographer. Inspiring and reassuring to the seasoned pro. Well done to everyone on the project, you should be very proud of this.

  20. damien

    Hi all,

    Thank you for pre-ordering this seasons DVDs. I am happy to say that all orders have now been dispatched.

    The post van collected 15 mail sacks full of DVDs from us yesterday (17th). They all went 1st class or Air Mail.

    UK mainland orders should be with you today (18th). Thanks for your custom and support in 2008.

    Kindest regards,



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