Speedlight Mastery Manchester ~ pictures on the edge

Aug 19, 2010 | Flash, Location | 26 comments

How far will you take in camera exposure? This is as shot and those who know me understand why I never use a histogram or the highlight warning system on my camera.

How far will you take in camera exposure? This is ‘as shot’ and those who know me understand why I never use a histogram or the highlight warning system in my camera. The screen on the 5D mk 2 is so good, fine exposure tweaks can be made using the picture alone.

This set of pictures was quite special to shoot. The weather was kind, Chloe Jasmine Whichello was in good spirits and some of our favourite photographers were with us as delegates. The day started at the worlds most expensive pebble…

One bare faced 580EX2 Speedlight on a stand was all we used for this sequence of frames.

One bare faced 580EX2 Speedlight on a stand was all we used for this sequence of frames.

Within 5 minutes of leaving Costa we were shooting. Flash in full sun and the Lovegrove exposure system were a perfect combination. Those of you who have been on any one of my Speedlight Mastery workshops will know exactly what settings I used just by looking at the shot. Repeatability is the key to my system.

I showed how to interact with someone to create a bit of fun. We had fun all day.

I showed the delegates how I interact with someone to create a bit of fun. We had fun all day.

We took our Speedlight round the corner and into the shade for this one light shot.

We took our single Speedlight round the corner and into the shade for this one light shot.

Crisp wonderful light from one 580EX2 Speedlight was what I used here.

Crisp wonderful light from one 580EX2 Speedlight was what I used here.

By 11 O'clock the dark glasses were off to reveal Chloe's beautiful eyes. My 100mm lens was still the only lens needed.

By 11 O’clock the dark glasses were off to reveal Chloe’s beautiful eyes. My 100mm lens was still the only lens needed.

I was still thinking mono but the lure of the colourful pub walls soon became too much.

Hard light used well is wonderfully flattering. I was still thinking mono but the lure of the colourful pub walls soon to become too much.

One mention of Joanna Lumley and there she was.

One mention of Joanna Lumley earlier in the day and there she was, in a younger guise.

Every now and then the real world delivers wonderful light without the need for intervention. We quickly grabbed a few frames while the reflected sun played it's part.

Every now and then the real world delivers wonderful light without the need for intervention. We quickly grabbed a few frames while the reflected sun played it’s part.

I managed to shock a few delegates with my seemingly cavalier approach to exposure. This is straight from camera.

I managed to shock a few delegates with my seemingly cavalier approach to exposure. This is straight from camera.

The needle was off the meter at +2 stops and the pixels were screaming. The Manchester pub wall was now in Morocco in my shots.

The needle was off the meter at +2 stops and the pixels were screaming. This Manchester pub wall was now in Morocco in my mind. I encouraged the delegates to use their own settings and to choose an aperture to suit. I also ensure that all the camera screens are set up correctly. When sailing this close to the wind it is a good idea to use a Hoodman viewer to accurately asses what clipping is occurring.

Off came the 100mm lens for the first time in weeks and on went my 21mm prime.

Off came the 100mm lens for the first time in weeks and on went my 21mm prime. I had my white balance set to 8200k for all these shots to add to the hot look. I must admit I stole the idea for this shot from a delegate ;) We are all learning together.

An Orbis ring flash adapter provided the light for this frame.

An Orbis ring flash adapter provided the light for this frame.

I love concertina shutters like these. Now it was time for 2 Speedlights.

I love concertina shutters like these. After our first break it was time for 2 Speedlights.

With the lighting set correctly the camera position can be really flexible. Here I am 90 degrees from the previous shot with identical lighting.

With the lighting set correctly the camera position can be really flexible.  I was 90 degrees from the previous shot with identical lighting for this frame.

The same lighting rig was carried around the corner to create this next sequence of shots.

The same lighting rig was carried around the corner to create this next sequence of shots.

I used an STE-2 to control the ratio of the lighting between groups A and B in this shot.

I used an STE-2 to control the ratio of the lighting between groups A and B in this shot.

Hard light used well is wonderfully flattering.

Pink and blue – harmony.

Next it was white balance shifting time for this shot taken at 3400k with just a single on camera flash with Honl filter for illumination.

Next it was white balance shifting time for this shot taken at 3400k with just a single on camera flash with Honl filter for illumination.

After lunch things got more complicated but we were all ready for it. A 58cm Lastolite ezybox hotshoe and a pair of Speedlights on stands were used to create 3 point lighting.

After lunch things got more complicated but we were all ready for it. A 58cm Lastolite ezybox hotshoe and a pair of Speedlights on stands were used to create 3 point lighting.

When you work with dynamic people or children it's all about the moment. Capturing the peak of emotion, shooting with a rhythm and

When you work with dynamic people or children it’s all about the moment. Capturing the peak of emotion, shooting with a rhythm and going with the flow are vital but not easy without practice.

I next showed how to shoot at 1/4000th and f/2.8 with the Pocket Wizard system.

I next showed how to shoot at 1/4000th and f/2.8 with the Pocket Wizard system. The transition to speeds above the sync speed are seamless and no effort or thinking is required. It just works. I lit Chloe with a 580EX2 in a Lastolite Ezybox.

This is my bird shit shot. After all that was what provided the fabulous texture and tones in the background.

This is my bird shit shot. After all, that was what provided the fabulous texture and tones in the background. The Ezybox was all I used for this shot too.

The sun had gone and Chloe went climbing. I put our own sun in as a backlight using a 580EX2 Speedlight on manual mode at full power.

The sun had gone and Chloe went climbing. I put our own sun in the mix by using a 580EX2 Speedlight on manual mode at full power as a backlight.

I opened up my 100mm lens by 4 stops and went all dreamy with my shots.

I opened up my 100mm lens by 3 stops and went all dreamy with my shots.

This Ezybox shot is bang on the standard exposure.

This Ezybox shot is bang on the standard exposure. Softlight like this is often used for beauty shots but I do prefer hard light. Chloe looks fabulous here so I kept it in my set.

This delightful editorial style shot is a fusion of the high camera angle, Chloe's distant relaxed look and the floral design of her top.

This delightful editorial style shot is a fusion of the high camera angle, Chloe’s distant relaxed gaze and the floral design of her top. The French manicure finishes the look.

I found some green glass that had been white washed inside to provide the background to this shot taken with on camera flash.

I found some green glass that had been white washed on the inside to provide the background. I lit this shot with on camera flash. It doesn’t get simpler than this.

We finished the day with a Lovegrove slash of flash. One Speedlight and my trusty 100mm lens.

We finished the day with a Lovegrove slash of flash. One Speedlight and my trusty 100mm lens.

 

Please feel free to comment on these pictures or the workshop if you were there.

26 Comments

  1. Karen Julia

    Love these! Love the use of hard light and doing everything in camera.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Karen. It’s the best way to maintain integrity and keep the magic of photography alive.

      Damien.

      Reply
  2. Chloe Jasmine Whichello

    RE: Tim Hind

    No one would DARE dream of doing that…the consenquences would be rather dire :)

    Reply
  3. Tim Hind

    Stunning work from a few speedlights and Manchester streets. You’ll be making out the model was ugly next!!!

    Inspiring work, must get on a workshop next year.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Tim, I’d never say such a thing! Haha. Damien.

      Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Tara,

      I hope you are well. Thanks for taking the time to comment,

      Damien

      Reply
  4. Gwyn Cole

    This Speedlight Mastery workshop was totally awesome! I had so much fun… Damien went into a lot of detail on every setup and explained key aspects that make the images work so well. He also encourages you to explore other camera angles which are all part of the creative process. This workshop also featured Chloe-Jasmine who is so wonderful to photograph. If your still deciding on whether to attend the workshop, I highly recommend that you just do it! This was my 5th Lovegrove workshop and my photography is forever changed. Thank you Damien.

    Reply
    • damien

      Gwyn,

      Your pictures shone too. I stole at least one of your ideas and I always do. You are a joy to shoot with. Chloe and I love your warmth and company. Welcome to top flight professional photography. Make it happen.

      Kind regards and professional respect, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Katie hanson

    Great work I can hardly believe they were shot in Manchester. Chloe you look great as ever.
    xxxx

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Will and Katie,
      I really appreciate your kind words. We are entering the colder months now so the look of the pictures I shoot will change dramatically.
      Kind regards,
      Damien.

      Reply
  6. Keith

    Helloooooo to all who attended this course.

    It was a great day, full of laughs and fun.
    I’ve got a few shoots in Manchester this weekend Damien – guess where I’ll be going?

    See you soon.

    Keith (main bag carrier and chief cigarette seeker for Chloe) :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Keith,
      for keeping us both going and your expert rigging. I hope your own shoots went well.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  7. Jonathan Yearsley

    Another setting of awesome images Damien.

    As usual Chloe just shines through in these shots. You’ve certainly shown Manchester in another light for me.

    Where’s the drab concrete and factory chimneys?

    Fantastic as always.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Jonathan,

      Manchester is reborn and yet it retains it’s charm. I love the place, perhaps more than Bristol.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  8. Mark

    Thanks to both Damien and Chloe for a great day. I learnt loads and I am really pleased with the results

    I can thoroughly recommend this course.

    Mark

    Reply
  9. John Humphries

    Stunning set of photos, amazing colours and variety.
    Fantastic work.
    John

    Reply
  10. Katy Lunsford

    Stunning! I love the ones at the Peveril. I agree, Manchester has never looked so glam – or so sunny!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Katy, John and Mark. Kind words indeed. Damien

      Reply
  11. J Miller

    C.J is the one of the most entertaining , endearing girls I know + has such a crazy quirky beauty with it.
    You have captured her spirit perfectly- love the cheeky one in the hat!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Jessica for commenting on my blog. CJ is my star for sure. If you need a fashion photographer for any assignments I’m available :)

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  12. Chloe-Jasmine Whichello

    What amazing colour, variety , angles and expressions;

    Manchester has never looked so glam !

    (AND this day was hilarious fun for everyone – that WALL was my absolute nightmare- yet it looks amazing!)

    Bravo

    x Chloe-Jasmine

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chloe,

      You were a star as usual. The bird shit covered wall was the perfect look to set you against. I’m looking forward to our shoots in September already.
      x Damien

      Reply
  13. Chris Hanley

    Best Manc pics yet. Peveril Images …….i’m staggered :) Amazing work you two. C

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers, Chris. We pulled a miracle out of the bag ;)

      Reply

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