Fashion Fusion Workshop ~ Pictures and Techniques

Jul 18, 2010 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 35 comments

My third shoot this week was my first ever Fashion Fusion Workshop using just continuous light. No flash was used for any of these pictures, just daylight and the light from my various movie industry luminaires. Continuous light will continue on it’s way to become the dominant kit of choice for wedding and portrait photographers in the near future so here is my first dedicated workshop to get us under way.

1. Hello Boys. Remember the adverts of the 90s well I like the low angle viewpoint of Chloe in this baby Doll outfit.

1. Hello Boys. Remember the billboard adverts of the 90's? This shot reminds me of them with it's low angle viewpoint. Chloe looks fantastic in this baby Doll outfit by Lulu and Lush.

All the clothes were kindly supplied by Sam Merry of  www.fairygothmother.com fame.
Hair and makeup was the work of Vicki Waghorn, our house stylist. Here are 25 of the 40 or so keepers from my set…

2. This dress from the prom collection was our first outfit and I lit this scene with a pair of Arri fresnel spotlights.

2. This dress from the prom collection was our first outfit and I lit this scene with a pair of Arri 300w fresnel spotlights. The mono post production look is from my Lovegrove Vintage actions collection available to Marko advanced delegates.

3. I love the opportunity to shoot Chloe in close up. Her classic bone structure and hair suit this vintage lighting look.

3. I love the opportunity to shoot Chloe in close up. Her classic bone structure and hair suit this vintage lighting look. All my shots were at ISO400 1/30th at f/4. If I had my 100mm Macro lens I would have shot at ISO 200 at f/2.8 instead. I used a monopod throughout the session.

4. This is the first of my pictures processed with my vintage colour action that is reminiscent of the Agfa look of the 70s.

4. This is the first of my pictures processed with my vintage colour action that is reminiscent of the Agfa slide film processed in C40 chemistry look of the 70s.

5. Maunsel is full of wonderful objects and mirrors. Sometimes it's hard to be selective.

5. Maunsel is full of wonderful objects and mirrors. Sometimes it's hard to be selective. Lit with a pair of Arris and a Lowel. One 300w Arri from the right of the camera on Chloe, One 150w from the left of Chloe acting as an upstage key and a Lowel battery light illuminating the rim of the mirror in the foreground. Each light has a distinct purpose and requires careful positioning. Once you know what to do with the lights the process is straightforward as you can see exactly what you are getting. The lighting balance would never look like this with flash.

This is the natural colour balance to give you some idea of the tones and colours of our starting point.

6. This is the natural colour balance to give you some idea of the tones and colours of our starting point.

Every dress was shot full length to meet the fashion brief and we then went in for close ups.

7. Every dress was shot full length to meet the fashion brief and we then went in for close ups.

8. I love the opportunity to take arty farty pictures too. A pair of mirrors opposite each other in a room is a perfect invite to have some fun.

8. I love the opportunity to take arty farty pictures too. A pair of mirrors opposite each other in a room is a perfect invite to have some fun.

9. We had a two hour power cut in the middle of the day and this gave me the opportunity to test out the new 300w and 150w inverter battery power supplies that we are launching later this month.

9. We had a two hour power cut in the middle of the day and this gave me the opportunity to test out the new 300w and 150w inverter battery power supplies that we are launching later this month. I used a battery powered Arri 300w and a battery powered Arri 150w to light Chloe in this shot plus a battery powered Lowel 100w light on the painting too.

10. Lighting as above.

10. Lighting as above. I love the interplay between the people in the painting and Chloe.

11. The background to this shot is a pair of bunches of flowers on pedestalls infront of a window and behind my Lastolite Scrim Jim. They don't make them any more but it is essentially a bit of white net stretched over a 6' x 4' frame.

11. The background to this shot is a pair of bunches of flowers on pedestalls infront of a window and behind my Lastolite Scrim Jim. They don't make Scrim Jims any more but it is essentially a bit of fine white net stretched over a 6' x 4' frame. I bought mine in 1996 when I was lighting at the BBC and it has done me well over the years. The key light on Chloe is a Lowel 100W battery light. The white balance was set to 3400k.

12. Another shot taken in the power cut. The screen was lit with an Arri 150w plugged into my 150w inverter power supply and the Lowel 100w battery light. Window light was our key for Chloe. My white balance was set to 8000k

12. Another shot taken in the power cut. The screen was lit with an Arri 150w plugged into my 150w inverter power supply and the Lowel 100w battery light. Window light was our key for Chloe. My white balance was set to 8000k

13. A clos up under the same lighting conditions as above.

13. A close up under the same lighting conditions as above.

14. Lit with one Lowel battery light and a hint of daylight from a distant window on Chloe's legs

14. We them moved into the bar area at Maunsel while the power was off to pick up this simple shot lit with one Lowel battery light and a hint of daylight from a distant window that fell onto Chloe's legs.

This shot was lit with distant window light only and I wandered from my comfortable ISO 400 1/30th at f/4 right down to

15. This shot was lit with distant window light only and I wandered from my comfortable ISO 400 1/30th at f/4 right down to ISO 800, 1/25th at f/2.8 for this frame.

After lunch the power was back on and we went into the boudoir for a few shots of Chloe in this baby doll outfit.

16. After lunch the power was back on and we went into the Boudoir for a few shots of Chloe in this baby doll outfit. I lit this with a 400w HMI Fresnel spotlight. It is a bit fierce so I doored it in and added a sheet of diffusion material to cut it back a bit. We are about to start supplying a new range of up to date HMI Fresnel spotlights with the electronics built into the lamp units. The power values that will be best for stills work will be the super efficient 150w and 250w versions. Both lamps will be daylight colour balanced and able to be run as battery lights too. More details to follow next week.

Here's a close up with the HMI being used as the Hollywood kick light.

17. Here's a close up with the HMI being used as a Hollywood kick light.

18. This change of viewpoint puts emphasis on the dress. Lighting as above.

18. This change of viewpoint puts emphasis on the dress. Lighting as above.

It was out of the boudoir and into one of the other 16 bedrooms at Maunsel. This shot is lit with just the window light.

19. It was out of the boudoir and into one of the other 16 bedrooms at Maunsel. This shot is lit with just the window light. Sometimes the best lighting decision is to do nothing and go with what you have. ISO 400, 1/125th at f/4

20. A close up as above.

20. A close up of the radiantly gorgeous Chloe with lighting provided by the window.

The wardrobe in the same room as shots the two shots above became my next background. Again we decided not to use any illumination at all.

21. The wardrobe in the same room as shots the two shots above became my next background. Again we decided not to use any illumination at all bar the window light.

I took my HMI up into the attic to light this scene from Alice in Wonderland. I bounced the light off the top half of a pale cream door to

22. I took my HMI up into the attic to light this scene from Alice in Wonderland. I bounced the light off the top half of a pale cream door.

23. I had to use the copper bath for a couple of shots. I lit Chloe with an Arri 150w light from over her right shoulder and the Lowel battery light became the key light. It's worth noting we used the Lowel light on full power for all the shots and as a result of this I have secured a supply of the Lowel light without the dimmer at a saving of £50 cheaper.

23. I had to use the copper bath for a couple of shots, it would have been rude not too. I lit Chloe with an Arri 150w light from over her right shoulder and the Lowel battery light became the key light. It's worth noting we used the Lowel light on full power for all the shots and as I never use the dimmer, I have managed to get an exclusive supply of the Lowel i light without a dimmer, at a saving of £50. This makes the most popular battery light even more affordable. There is a flood and spot facility and barn doors to cut the light output should you wish to do so or you can move the lamp back a bit if necessary too.

The same scene above shot from the Kings Room.

24. The same scene above shot from the Kings bedroom.

I snuck in this simple shot on route to

25. I snuck in this simple window lit shot on route to the bar. I was a grabbed frame but it's simplicity works for me.

There really is no end to the opportunities at Maunsel House. We chose to work in some of the darkest areas and always inside using continuous light. What you see is what you get with continuous light. That means you can forget about science and concentrate on creating art. The direction of light, it’s colour and how it integrates with the subject and surroundings are the most important factors. I showed how to use the barn doors effectively and how to set each lamp carefully to achieved the look we were after.

I’ve added another workshop date for this event, Monday 23rd August. We will be shooting Chloe again but with the dresses from another designer. Details of the new Fashion Fusion workshop are here. Places are limited to just 5 shooters so book early. We will be running a three day shooting event at Maunsel House in September (Just after the schools go back) with two of the countries finest art portrait shooters and myself . There will be dinner and evening talks too making this a truly fabulous learning experience. Email Blaise if you would like to be sent advanced information of this exclusive event.

Please feel free to comment on this event or the pictures below:

35 Comments

  1. Mikael Carrington

    Since my lovely lass bought me your book ‘The Complete Guide to Professional Wedding Photography’ in August, I have been amazed by your work and even more so, your personality ! .. with professional photographers (not all) jealously guarding their secrets it’s a breath of fresh air to see a master photographer like yourself giving so much back .

    Your use of continuous light in this shoot rather than flash has given me pause for thought and an avalanche of ideas! Now I need to persuade a gorgeous model on par with the beautiful Chloe and a stately home (with good taste) to lend me a day of their time !! .. Or better still a few hints to my lovely lass on what to get me for xmas.. A Damien Lovegrove workshop !

    I love all these pictures but No’s 10 & 20 are my favourite.

    Eagerly looking forward to your fine art book project .

    Kind regards

    Mikael

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mikael,

      Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely comment. As I’m sure you know, Chloe Jasmine and I are going to partner up on one more continuous light art portrait workshop this year. Details are here.

      Chloe Jasmine is destined for success so at some point soon I expect her fees to be way out of my league. This is a sort of don’t delay call as I’m sure you will know.

      Thank you once again for your eloquent praise.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  2. Alejandro M

    Thanks for the advise Damien.

    May I invite you to see the first selection of pics from both the Fashion Fusion and Big Flash in the Country workshops?

    Critiques and comments will be very welcome!

    Take care!

    AMC

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Alejandro,

      Here is the link to your pictures for others to see :) Great stuff!

      Reply
  3. Alejandro Mendez

    Hellou Damien!, I’m finally back at my home in Caracas, and I have to confess that I was so literally amazed, shocked and very happy when I finally was able to see all the 300+ shots I took in these wonderful workshop.
    The most important lesson I got, was that you can indeed take jaw dropping shots of a gorgeous model like Chloe without using one single Flash! (that was like opening the Pandora’s Box for me, I have to admit).
    The whole package was perfect, from the model, (which I will not get tired to say how beautiful, professional and patient girl she is), the beautiful hair and make up, the sexy dresses and the out of this world scenario, and it filled my portfolio with outstanding shots that I hope I gather enough data in my brain to be able to duplicate in the near future.
    I’m also hooked with the Arri Lights, and I have another tab in my browser looking for kits to buy, I’m deciding between a three 650W lights kit and another 3 piece of 150W, 300W and 650W units. Any thoughts on which is more long-term useful?

    Thanks again for the excellent workshop, teachings and ideas received that cool day. Hope in the future I can comeback some time in the future for the Studio Light session!!.

    Take Care

    AMC

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Alejandro,

      You are very welcome. Thank you for coming half the way round the world to shoot a couple of workshops with me. The kit you need is the 150w, 300w and 650w. Expect to use the 650w with some diffusion material or into a reflector.

      Enjoy your photography.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Andy Baines

    bloody brill as usual, you give me something else to chew over , mull upon and ultimately emulate! cheers

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Andy,

      Your comments are always welcome. Thank you.

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  5. IONA MATHESON-LONG

    Hi again! I am being drawn to these images time and time again! Can you please explain about image 11 – why is it that white balance setting for this lighting? Toying with the idea of fresnel lighting but love the finish of this photo and the quality. Thanks.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Iona, sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been on holiday. Thanks for your kind words. Shot 11 was lit with a Lowel battery light because we were in a power cut situation. I would have normally used a 300w Arri Fresnel. The differences would be minimal but significant. The Arri would have been back a metre because of it’s power. The nominal white balance of a Lowel lamp is supposed to be 3200k but rarely do they reach 3100k. I chose 3400k to give the Lowel a warm look while maintaining a blue background.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Vicki Huckle

    Wow!! What a gorgeous set Damien

    and that vintage colour action is Fabulous!!

    and Yes please Markus- start blogging!!!!

    :o) Vicki

    Reply
  7. David Morphew

    some truly stunning shots and a fabulous workshop – Damian you’re always an inspiration, 9sorry that does sound a bit Amercian doesn’t it) but gosh I was tired when I got home

    Will you be putting some tungsten lighting kits together? It might make the decision making process easier if everything was in one box ;-)

    Best wishes

    David

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your kind words, It was a fantastic shoot.

      I’m working on putting together some 2 head HMI Daylight kits together from Lupo. I think Warehouse Express sell 3 head Arri lighting kits. I usually use just 1 or 2 lights at a time and I use the right stand for the job so it could be a tiny stand, Magic Arm or the fabulous Lowell Grand Stand if I need height and stability.

      Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  8. Mark

    “Continuous light will continue on it’s way to become the dominant kit of choice for wedding and portrait photographers in the near future”

    Why? For photographic purposes they appear to be less than ideal since a 300watt light needs a 1sec exposure to be as bright as a 300ws strobe. Then there is the difficulty of modifiers, size, power sources, and not being able to separately control ambient light with shutter speed.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mark,

      You are right of course. If it is quantity of light you are after then artificial continuous light is no match for flash. I’m not talking about quantity though, I’m talking about quality. We see the world with continuous light and it’s really easy to see exactly what you are creating when using continuous light sources. Just like the switch from film to digital ten years ago. Everything became so much easier with the instant feedback. Seeing rather than guessing the lighting allows for very fine tuning. It is quick, requires no maths or metering and makes beautiful pictures.

      As you know I use flash a lot of the time, both Speedlights and big flash too but I see a big swing to continuous light for a multitude of reasons and subtlety is one of them. Quite a few of the big guns in the wedding world like Yervant etc are using Lowel lights and this drives the demand from the top. Balancing flash to gently illuminate a candle lit meal or to mix with the bedside lights as in this set of shots is not easy. Using continuous light is. Ease of application and beauty of results will win the day for many a photographer. Flash will always be a tool in the toolbox but as video emerges as the must have feature of all the new DSLRs, creative image-makers will embrace it, and they will need continuous light too.

      The latest generation of HMIs, LED lights and fluorescent lights are the big movers at the moment. Even camera top LED lights will replace on camera flash for some shooters. These changes suit my style as I was classically trained in using continuous light by some fantastic cinematographers at the end of their careers during my time at the BBC Their way of lighting is now very much in vogue.

      f/22 with high power flash will make way for f/1.4 with continuous light. It happened in food photography a while ago and I believe it will happen in wedding and portraiture too. What goes around comes around.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      PS: Some of the finest portraits ever taken were shot at 1 second.

      Reply
  9. Darren Bell

    Amazing! total wow factor!

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers Darren :))

      Reply
  10. Anita

    WOW fantastic shots, will definitly be saving to attend one of these, location model the works Inspirational THANKS

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Anita for your wonderful words of encouragement. I’ve decided to run another date so do check out the Lovegrove Consulting website for further details or click on the link on the right ;) If you shoot portraits professionally you can get the workshop fee back from the profit of your first big print sale using your new found skills. – Just a thought.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  11. Paul McCullough

    Yet another set of great images taken under interesting lighting setups. Very inspirational!
    I have been trying to work out how you managed to maintain the natural daylight (through the windows) in shots 23 & 24 when the subject is lit by tungsten lights.
    Should the incoming natural light not look very blue if your camera is set to tungsten WB?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • damien

      Absolutely Paul. If you compare the colour of the wall on the left of the shot with the colour of the wall on the right you will see the difference. The distant trees that are just visible outside are a rich cyan too. Very little daylight is illuminating the scene as we are looking into the only daylight source. Tungsten light dominates.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  12. C-J Whichello

    Vintage, boudoir, hollywood – beautiful varied lighting effects; Pure art!

    Great teacher, very patient, enthusiastic, inspirational and kind.
    Yet again- it was awesome to work with you!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chloe, You make my images sing, seriously when we pull together with Vicky and a good designer in a location as scrumptious as Maunsel House magic happens. I can’t wait to work with you again at my studio on Thursday. Fizzing with ideas :)

      Damien.

      Reply
    • damien

      Hi Peter,

      I love those shots on Mayhem. More to post I’m sure. Great to see some other shoots we’ve done together too.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  13. Markus MacGill

    Continuous lighting makes me happy. Don’t get me wrong, flash is wonderful too. Continuous takes me back to travel photography, where I love chasing that very best picture – when light meets moment (or vice versa).

    That’s also where the greatest of the great, the Cartier-Bressons of the world and the best movie film storytellers, have given photography its place. It’s where even Mr Lovegrove sits – keeping to the values of composing light and creating viewing emotion.

    (Damien, I agree with you that maybe some of the weddings of the now, and more and more of the future, involve mainly a combination of natural and continuous artificial sources, less flash. Good-quality sensor sensitivities are surely pushing that along too.)

    All the photos above are trademark Lovegrove. We can learn, and learn a lot from our generous Damien – I urge you to do so – and the above photos are also something very special in their own right.

    Right, I’m gonna stop trying to sound like some kind of art curator and get back to thinking about next week’s portraits and wedding :-) Who thinks I should start blogging too?!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Markus,

      Start blogging! you’ve got a lot to contribute and some great ideas.

      There, said it :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  14. IONA MATHESON-LONG

    WOW! Chloe is a truly stunning model. Maunsel is an outstanding venue and the images are to die for. Congratulations on another fantastic shoot that you have been kind enough to share with us. Best regards, Iona.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks one again Iona for your kind words of encouragement. Chloe and I are on a roll. :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  15. Peter Stancliffe

    Thanks for a great session, Damien. The attention to detail you demonstrated throughout was a great learning curve. I am now a convert and have put in my order for a couple of Arris. Fascinating to see the post production you have done: would love to get my hands on some of those vintage actions!!!! Feel very lucky to be starting out on my career with this kind of training. Also LOVED Chloe-Jasmine.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Peter,

      Blaise tells me the bubbles are on their way. Bubbles is the film industry name for bulbs ;) Enjoy your continuous light shooting, Cheerrs, Damien.

      Reply
  16. Simon Davis

    A beautiful set of images Damien. Love the use of continuous lighting in this setting.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Simon, Thanks for your comment. Continuous light is the way to go when there are other light sources in the shot like table lamps etc. It’s great fun too having the chance to be so precise with the light. Something you cant do to quite the same extent with flash.

      Regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  17. Steve Hale

    I was really toying with the idea of booking onto this workshop but in the middle of the wedding season I convinced myself I was too busy. Big mistake by me, this is stunning work, every picture is beautifully lit. We are starting to get quite a lot of requests for bridal boudoir from clients and if I could deliver anything anywhere near these, ££££ Bookmarking this post for inspiration but must try and do the workshop too, Cheers Steve

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Steve, For your kind comments about the pictures. You have one more chance to do this workshop. We are lining up a designer to work with Chloe and myself next month, as I write. After the Fashion Fusion workshop in August we will have a 3 Day fine art portrait shooting event in Septembe,r just after the summer holidays and after the busy wedding season too. More details to follow.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply

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