Studio Lighting tutorial movie by Damien Lovegrove

Mar 28, 2009 | Flash, Studio | 28 comments

Back in the depths of winter a group of friends and myself descended on Imagist studios near Bristol for a lighting ideas development session. We photographed a very cold Vanessa, our model. The studio was just above freezing hence the electric heater giving off the warm orange glow. I asked ace cameraman Simon Tagney to film the proceedings and here is nearly 8 minutes of the resulting movie.

[kml_flashembed movie=”https://www.prophotonut.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/studiotrailer.swf” height=”234″ width=”416″ /]

If you want to join me on my next foundation studio lighting workshop, not just for 8 minutes but for a full day, you can see the details and reserve your place here. The next available session is on Wednesday 1st July (so it will be warm). We will be using lighting kit supplied by Broncolor and we will have 2 lighting set ups, 2 professional models, a make up artist and a ratio of just 4 shooters per model to ensure everyone gets the shots.

I call it a foundation workshop because we get back to basics but we don’t leave it there. By the end of the day we will have shot complicated lighting set ups and you will have the knowledge to recreate and tweak them to suit your style. My goal is to share with you the knowledge and skills needed to make masterful images. Workshop delegates will receive Simon’s full 20 minute movie in HD.

28 Comments

  1. Tania

    Thanks for your advice Damien. I really appreciate it! That is exactly what I have bought (phew!) Keep up the amazing work. You are a real inspiration to those of us starting out.

    Warm regards,
    Tania

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Tania,
      I hope you don’t mind me asking what make did you go for? Are you happy with it? I’m looking at Photoflex CoolStar and Wallimex at the moment.

      Regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  2. Tania

    Hi Damien,
    I am really sorry to hear that. It is so unfair when you work really hard to share so much knowledge for free already. Buying your DVD’s or going on one of your courses is not much to ask if anyone needs more information. I certainly hope too one day!
    I am torn between buying a continuous lighting setup or flash studio kit. As a beginner, which would you recommend for child and family portraits? I am leaning towards continuous, but if I do, is it necessary to use off camera flash with it? Thanks so much for your advice and really hope to meet you soon! Can’t wait for your new book!
    Warm regards,
    Tania

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Tania,

      These things happen. I would seriously consider cool running continuous light. You can get softboxes with the spiral type folded fluorescent lamps inside. Perfect for photographing families and children.

      Damien.

      Reply
  3. Tania

    Hi Damien,

    I usually shoot using natural light but over the winter I have a couple of indoor jobs lined up for which I will need some lighting. I am really keen to come to one of your workshops when funds allow, but in the meantime, I would be really interested in the Studio Lighting DVD you mention above. I note you were hoping to start shooting it in Aug and I was just wondering if it is available as yet? LOVE the way you teach and share your knowledge. I have your book and have found it a real inspiration for my work.

    Kind regards,
    Tania

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Tania,

      There won’t be a DVD this year because of the piracy issues I’ve had. Over 12,000 downloads on bit torrent of last year’s DVD has scuppered sales and made the process not worth while :( And that’s with very expensive copy protection software by Sony. So I decided to increase the number of workshop places this year instead, My big project this winter is my first art book. At least that can’t be ripped off. Sorry to disappoint.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Ronny

    Hi Damien,
    I’ve got a question, why do you use a 200 ISO instead of 100 as we could crank up the power of the lights. Thank you for your explanation.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Ronny,

      My Nikon delegates have ISO 200 as their base level and there is no real advantage to dropping to ISO 100 on my Canon either.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Vicky

    Hi Damien,

    Great video………but completely different to any of the other tutorials I have seen. We are just moving into studio portraits and have mainly been shooting weddings up until this point. Completely new to studio lighting and first piece of advice from everyone so far has been to get a light meter. Would you not agree with this? Just wondered……..when will your studio lighting dvd be available? Keep up the great work……..you’re an inspiration to us all.

    Thanks,

    Vicky

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Vicky,

      I sold my light meter years ago. You have the best light meter there is in your camera. What you see on your camera screen is what you’ve got in the file. No light meter can compare with that. My Studio Lighting DVD will be out in time for Christmas. We will start shooting it in August when everyone else is busy shooting Weddings. If you want to get ahead then come to my one day studio lighting workshop. It will change the way you think and you will be up and running in advanced studio lighting.

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Jason

    Love your work. Very informative.
    I know I’d look into your DVD once it’s ready.

    Reply
  7. Joseph Adams

    Hi Damien,

    just found this. You got me interested in a studio course in 2010 now.

    I do have one question – I realise this is only 8 minutes, but not once do you mention using a lightmeter. It seems you do a lot of this “by eye” – would that be accurate? (just curious as a lot of other pros live and die by their lightmeter)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Joseph, I use the screen on the camera to determine the exposure. It’s more accurate than any lightmeter as it shows me exactly what I have got not what I should have. I can zoom in and see exactly what shadow detail and highlight detail is in the image and exactly how the contrast looks in the final image. It is also worth noting that our Nikon D700 has nearly a stop less exposure according to the numbers than my Canon 5D mk2 for the same image exposure. So the screen is the only shure fire way of knowing for sure. I sold my Minolta meters years ago. Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  8. damien

    Hi Alec,

    Better than diagrams, I encourage the delegates to zoom out to include the lights in the shots for each set up. There’s no better way of documenting a set up than to photograph it.

    Regards, Damien.

    Reply
  9. Alec

    Hi Damien,
    Just because I’m nosey, do you provide diagrams of the various lighting set ups that you use for the tutorial? Nobody could remember all the different set ups.

    Reply
  10. Rasheed

    Hi sir, you have done a good job, its very useful for the people who are interested in studio photo and video shoot and who don’t have any idea about lighting.

    Reply
  11. damien

    Hi Terrence,

    This vid was for intended as an aid memoir for the attendees and a marketing tool to attract new delegates to the studio lighting workshops.

    I’ll be shooting a proper tutorial DVD on studio lighting at some stage but for now I’m focusing on my workshop training sessions. If you come on one of these you can have a copy of the video with my compliments.

    Damien.

    Reply
  12. Terrence Bibb

    Hi Damien….

    Is there a way to get a copy of the full 20 minute version of this vid? You are a great inspiration.

    Terrence….

    Reply
  13. Simon

    Hi Damien…..

    Just got it thanks……..looking forward to it……

    Tried putting in to practise some of the natural lighting DVD at the weekend……got some nice shots..but lot more practise needed……..

    Simon…..

    Reply
  14. damien

    Hi Simon,

    Good call! I have just sent all previous delegates of the studio lighting workshop a link to the full 20 minute video in HD. Please check your inbox.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

    Reply
  15. damien

    Hi Bill,

    The next available studio lighting workshop is on Wednesday 1st July. All the details can be found here

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  16. Bill Geisler

    i am interested in when your next workshop might be.

    thanks.

    bill

    Reply
  17. Simon

    Hi Damien,

    Any chance previous delegates recieving the full 20 min version………??

    Pretty please…….

    Simon

    Reply
  18. damien

    Thank you, Luis and Chichichar for your kind words, I will be producing a full length studio lighting video. I was going to shoot it this year but it will probably be 2010 now as we will be producing at least 3 more location shooting productions this year.

    It is always hard setting the level at which to pitch a video. The one above in this post is at ‘foundation level’ and uses old, relatively cheap lighting kit in a simple way to ensure the knowledge given can easily be repeated without the viewer taking out a second mortgage. but it could so easily migrate to very advanced lighting requiring the finest of touches to make or break the shot involving lighting with 5 plus sophisticated flash heads. I’ll be doing a lot of fact finding to see what the demand is before embarking on a shooting plan.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

    Reply
  19. chichichar

    great video :) wonder if you will produce full video similar to DVD or pay-to-download.

    Reply
  20. luis faustino

    Cool video Damien!
    Like the way you teach!

    Reply
  21. damien

    Hi Steve, You have a good point. You can download a copy as a Quicktime movie here. It is best to right click and choose save linked file as… You can then play it in the media player of your choice. I tried to embed flash movie controls but they didn’t appear. Sorry for that, I need to investigate further.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  22. steve

    it’s annoying that we have no control to pause the video.

    Reply

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