Pushing the Boundaries ~ Pictures and techniques

Jun 19, 2010 | Flash, Location | 8 comments

1. Every now and then an exposure needs cutting back to simplify the shot. I worked the camera three stops down to capture Natasha in the shell seat shown in the next

1. Every now and then an exposure needs cutting back to simplify the shot. I worked the camera three stops down to capture Natasha in the shell seat shown in the next frame.

Chris Hanley and I were in Barça, a funky venue in Manchester having coffee one day in May and we decided to run a workshop shoot there. I wanted to shoot alternative fashion away from the realms of portraiture and Chris set to work sourcing a clothing designer, make up artist an models. It was a one off event for 8 delegates and here are our pictures. The first 21 pictures were shot by me and the final 21 were taken by Chris.

I lit Natasha with a beauty dish fitted to my Broncolor Mobil.

2. I lit Natasha with a beauty dish fitted to my Broncolor Mobil.

Barça was full of surprises and design statements.

3. Barça was full of surprises and design statements. Natasha was lit with a Kobold 400w daylight balanced HMI Fresnel light.

The warm PP look is courtesy of Marko.

4. The warm PP look is courtesy of Marko. The light was from my Kobold.

5. Simple clean lines and attitude, perfect!

5. Simple clean lines and attitude, perfect!

I lit Sarah from above with a Mobil powered striplight softbox.

6. I lit Sarah from above with a Mobil powered striplight softbox.

I lit Sarah with a Broncolor Ringflash unit. Nothing could be simpler yet more striking.

7. I lit Sarah with a Broncolor Ringflash unit. Nothing could be simpler yet more striking.

I love to shoot caught moment close ups like this.

8. I love to shoot caught moment close ups like this taken while Sarah adjusts her latex outfit.

After lunch we ventured out on to the street to shoot more outfits. We got looks and the girls got whistles – great stuff!

9. A stones throw from the bar was an area rich in texture. I lit Natasha with

9. A stones throw from the bar was an area rich in texture. I lit Natasha with a beauty dish on my Mobil kit.

Many looks can be created in the name of fashion. We keep the best locked into Photoshop actions for later use.

10. Many looks can be created in the name of fashion. We keep the best locked into Photoshop actions for later use.

Gorgeous light is a must for beauty pictures. I'm loving my 100mm f/2.8 lens at f/2.8

11. Gorgeous light is a must for beauty pictures. I'm loving my 100mm f/2.8 lens at f/2.8

Again, I used my beauty dish with it's white shower cap for this shot.

12. Again, I used my beauty dish with it's white shower cap for this shot.

I popped a Nikon SB-900 Speedlight set to 1/2 power and shooting through a piece of CTB gel as a back/flare light.

13. I popped a Nikon SB-900 Speedlight set to 1/2 power and shooting through a piece of CTB gel as a back/flare light. I triggered both the Mobil and the Speedlight with Pocket Wizard Plus 2's

An alternative PP look is equally exciting.

14. An alternative PP look is equally exciting.

With a figure this good there is a great opportunity to shoot impact pictures.

15. With a figure this good there is a great opportunity to shoot impact pictures.

Blues and greens in out of focus canvas

16. Blues and greens form an out of focus canvas in this scene.

A caged tiger caught with my 100mm lens.

17. A caged tiger caught with my 100mm lens.

The sun beat down and the smell of burning rubber was all around.

18. The sun beat down and the smell of burning rubber was all around. I used a bit of dingle as a shoot through to add to the look.

The wild flower meadow was more a patch of scrub land with knee high weeds but is was perfect for this genre.

19. The wild flower meadow was more a patch of scrub land with knee high weeds but is was perfect for this genre.

One delegate set up a catwalk shot and I stole this frame on the run.

20. One delegate set up a catwalk shot and I stole this frame on the run.

I love shooting from ground level, everything is bolder.

21. I love shooting from ground level, everything is bolder.

While I was shooting upstairs in the bar, Chris was shooting downstairs. All in all his set are more colourful and punchy. The way we each see a scene and visualise it is part of what makes up our style. Developing a ‘look’ is a wonderful thing to be able to do. Here are Chris’s shots:

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Dress designer: Helen Gale

Hair and make up: Samantha Gardner

Models: Sarah Stone and Natasha Jayne Heard

So there you have it. 42 pictures from the one off Pushing The Boundaries workshop in Manchester. Please feel free to ask questions, suggest shoot locations, and feedback on the day. My next ‘off limits’ creative event called Fashion Fusion will be happening at a privately owned estate in Somerset on the 15th July. I’ll be using continuous light for all the pictures and the theme will be corsetry. Please email Blaise to register your interest and get an advance booking opportunity on this limited delegate event.

8 Comments

  1. damien

    Cheers Guys!

    Reply
  2. Samantha Gardner

    Wow fantastic shots! Had a really great day at the workshop, brilliant choice of location! I’m honoured I was involved. Everyone was really easy to get along with and whole experience was very enjoyable.
    Look forward to working with you again Damien!

    Samantha Gardner
    Hair and Makeup Artist.

    Reply
  3. Ziggy

    What a GREAT day. Absorbing all that knowledge on the day AND sunstroke too. Seriously though, if ANY doubters remain, get yourself on one of Damien’s courses. You’d be a fool not to. Thanks for all the teaching on the day Damien and Chris (not sure about your ‘holster’ though).

    Still recovering from ‘glowing urinals’ and the smell of burning rubber!!

    It’s got to be ‘Cherish the Dress’ for me next.

    Reply
  4. Nick

    Fantastic day, well done to Damien and Chris. Again I got a lot out of this workshop that I will add to my existing bag of tricks and go improve…

    Some great images above and Damien you definitely did steal the bridge catwalk image, awesome shot!!

    Have a few of mine edited, but lots more to go, will be on my blog in about a week I guess.

    Thanks again

    Nick

    Reply
  5. Andrew Frost

    Damien,

    It’s been said before, and I have to say it again. These are absolutely fantastic images, and a real source of inspiration.

    Thank you so much for showing us what imagination, effort and a touch of magic can achieve!

    Best regards

    Andrew

    Reply
  6. Jonathan Godoy

    Hi there!

    Great job on the photographs. What really caught my eye was Chris’ #14 photograph. It just makes you want to take a vacation in that image. Hope to see more soon!

    Reply
  7. Markus MacGill

    So much inspiration on composition from these works of art, Damien – thanks v much.

    I’m nuts about the stepped-down rim-lit one at the top!!

    I’ll get in touch with a potential venue for future workshops. Nothing quite like a cracking venue for the mix towards cracking shots…

    Reply

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