D1 – I love the surreal nature of cross keyed Speedlights. The Hilton bar that I shot this frame in is aptly called Cloud 23. Two Speedlights on stands were triggered using infra red. I rigged Canon and Nikon Speedlights alongside each other on the same stands. ISO 200, 1/200th second at f/16
Here are the long awaited set of pictures from last weeks Cherish The Dress workshop at the fabulous Hilton Hotel in Manchester. Chris Hanley and I delivered a full on workshop with our team of assistants to the ten delegates. We split into two groups for the sessions. We regularly swap tutors and models to ensure that each group gets to shoot all the pictures. Chris and I share 36 of our pictures from the day starting with my set of 18…
D2 – This simple silhouette shows the next shot without the flash. This shot works well because I was careful when posing our models Lisa Marie and Shawn.
D3 – Here is the same shot with the flash. I processed it slightly differently in Lightroom although the exposure settings were identical to the frames above. Lit with 2 barefaced Speedlights on stands.
D4 – I lit this frame of Sarah using my Orbis. I was careful not to deliver Chris his Orbis until after the workshop. I need to keep my edge when shooting alongside him. The Speedlight in the Orbis was triggered with a Canon ST-E2 or an SU-800 or pop up flash in commander mode for the 2 Nikon shooters among the 10 of us.
D5 – Simple high key shots like this are a dream to shoot using just natural light and a bit of forced exposure compensation. All the technology and set ups shown are explained in full so no one gets left behind. This really is an instructional as well as hopefully inspirational workshop.
D6 – A bit of random passion outside one of the meeting rooms on the second floor was lit with my Arri 300w Fresnel tungsten light. Chris used his Lowel and Arri throughout the workshop too.
D7 – A slash of light from my Arri was all I needed for this mixed light shot. I set my white balance to 3400k and allowed the daylight spill from a nearby window to go blue.
D8 – The same shot with the same lighting from a different angle. I’ve given this shot a more punchy process in Lightroom knowing the shots that will be making up Chris’ set below.
D8a – Here’s a behind the scenes taster for the shots above and below showing delegates and Shawn in the background.
D9 – The same set up again but with Shawn playing a key out of focus role in the image. All these shots were taken at ISO 800, 1/60th second at f/4
D10 – I’m never one to miss out on an opportunity for a minimalist frame like this.
D11 – Next I was shooting Sarah in a pink dress. (I’m into pink at the moment too, just bought 10 ‘shocking pink’ chairs for my studio). A slash of flash pushed through the stairs from a Speedlight on a stand gave me the stripes.
D12 – The same flash was aimed through the dingle in this shot to give the dappled light effect.
D13 – I then showed how to blitz a shiny background with an on camera Speedlight.
D14 – Next it was time for Orbis again. In the right places it provides the perfect lighting solution.
D15 – Two Speedlights on stands provided the light and a black bar top provided the reflection opportunity. I dialed in a 4:1 ratio on my ST-E2 to get the punchy back light look. Nikon shooters set group B to +2 stops.
D16 – A simple two shot in the same place.
D17 – A change of viewpoint is always a worthwhile exercise. Drop down low to make legs go on forever. All the tones in this picture have been carefully coaxed into place to ensure a fine print can be made.
D18 – My last shot of the set used a key and kick lighting set up from a couple of Speedlights to make a funky shot of Shawn.
Below are Chris Hanley’s images from the day. Chris and I have fun and a certain amount of rivalry on a workshop. This keeps us on our toes and helps us focus on trying to achieve excellence. The captions are in Chris’ words
C1 – Work it girl, both Sarah’s slink through the bar in the sky. Jamming the lens against the granite wall ensures a great reflection. f/4 @ 1/160th ISO 400
C2 – The East wing of cloud 23. placing clients in strong lines and warm sunshine with a fantastic view gives them a VIP feeling. f/4 @ 1/320th ISO 400
C3 – Tighter crop and a different angle with WB set to 3450K for a cooler look. f/4 @ 1/320th ISO 400
C4 – A great place to shoot is in elevator doorways. This one benefits from a beautiful wood veneer surround. Here Lisa-Marie and Shawn “own the space” f/4 @ 1/200th ISO 400
C5 – areas like under stairs are places clients just dont notice as great shoot spots so when they see the final pictures, they are truly wowed. with a white balance set to 3450K and a lowel light on Sarah, we get a great fashion image. f/4 @ 1/40th ISO 400
C6 – This is one of my favourite shoot spots at the Hilton. With our clients relatively small in the frame in this space, this increases the sales potential for larger wall products. f/4 @ 1/40th ISO 800
C7 – One of my signature shots, I call this my “Bohemian Rhapsody” (remember the video, gallileo, figaro, magnifico) A beautiful woman in a little black number and a single downlighter. Recreate this in every hotel in the world. f/4 @ 1/160th ISO 800
C8 – The same space as the shot above, just looking from a different angle. f/4 @ 1/500th ISO 800
C9 – Clients always want a nice couple picture. This ticks all the boxes as a great momento of their cherish experience. Elegant enough and not too arty as a present for the grandparents mantlepiece. f/4 @ 1/30th ISO 640
C10 – I love reflections and textures and always on the look out for little out of the way shoot spots at venues. It gives your client an opportunity to be more direct with the lens without feeling self conscious. The picture comes alive with a slash of light from the Lowel. f/4 @ 1/30th ISO 400
C11 – Same shoot space with a tighter crop for a lovely head and shoulder portrait to grace the clients portfolio. f/4 @ 1/30th ISO 400
C12 – This picture and the next: More reflections, but changing the pose and moving to natural light gives us more options for the album or portfolio. f/4 @ 1/60th ISO 400
C13 – As above
C14 – Clients love our “stolen moments of passion” set ups. A moment of passion in a phone booth is like a set on a Hollywood movie. Adding a splash of light with the lowel and altering the white balance to 3450K gives a colourful image. f/4 @ 1/30th ISO 400
C15 – Of course cherish isn’t just bridal, plenty of clients invest in couture dresses, for big occasions. A simple natural light dress portrait makes clients happy. f/4 @ 1/80th ISO 800
C16 – Make use of a wide lens if you’ve invested in one. I used my 14 – 24mm Nikon for this frame.
C17 – Another shot at the same location as above.
C18 – A new little out of the way shoot spot in the hotel, this time to really emphasise the reflection we used the Arri 300w. I love this light.f/2.8 @ 1/ 60th ISO 800
The kit Chris and I used to make these pictures:
Canon 5D mk2, 2x 580 EX2 Speedlights, ST-E2 trigger, 21mm Zeiss 21mm lens, 24-70mm Canon lens, 70-200 Canon lens.
Nikon D3, 2x Nikon SB-900 Speedlights, SU-800 trigger, Nikon 14-24mm lens, 24-70mm lens, 70-200mm lens.
Lowel iD battery light
2x Arri 300w Fresnel lights
Orbis ringflash adapter
The day ended in the Hilton Podium bar, it was my round :-0 If you would like to attend a Cherish The Dress workshop at the Manchester Hilton, please Email Blaise. Please feel free to comment on these pictures or your experience of the day. Which ones are your favorites and why?