01. Hopetoun House in all it’s splendour. I lit Siobhán with a Lowel iD light on a Lastolite Jupiter stand.
I am given various challenges as part of my day to day photography training business but none are tougher than this one. My long term clients Alan and Jackie Rankine flew me up to Edinburgh to give two days of 1:1 tuition in January. The theme was lighting winter wedding portraits and groups in castles and stately homes. I was faced with that classic combination of heavy rain on a bitter wind barely illuminated by what little daylight there was in January that far North. Here are some of the magical pictures we created at Dundas Castle and Hopetoun House
02. The Lowel was used as a back light here.
03. Creative photography is also about seeing picture opportunities where the untrained eye see obstacles.
Make up: Lucy Gourlay
Hair: Keith Marshall
Model: Siobhán Leith
Venues: Dundas Castle and Hopetoun House
04. Even the entrance porch is an exciting space when it is lit with the Lowel iD light.
05. An advantage of working on dull days in the winter is that it always feels like dusk and simple lighting can make beautiful pictures.
06. Forget Speedlights here. This kind of venue requires lighting at the next level up. Forget LED, HMI and flash, there really is no substitute for the industry standard battery powered Lowel iD light. That is why the top pros use it, week in and week out in the winter.
07. A diagonal slash of light from the Lowel allowed me to illuminate the painting too.
08. The silver frames on the sideboard contain pictures of royalty taken at various visits to Hopetoun.
09. The crisp light from the Lowel is perfect for close ups too.
10. There is always time for a bit of fun.
11. Again just a single Lowel is all we used for this shot.
12. As the light faded at the end of the day we had to turn the Lowel down on the dimmer to keep a sensible balance. The Lowel can run on full power for well over 3 hours on one charge with the Lovegrove Lithium battery pack.
13. Even a panelled corridor is a location for a shot. A wall light provides our back light in this shot.
14. I lifted off the lamp shade of the lamp just to the right of camera. This then became my key light and the Lowel was the back light.
15. Dappled light is my speciality.
16. Next it was time for a pair of Speedlights in the Gemini bracket shooting through a white umbrella. On half power these Speedlights can light big groups and recycle quickly but on 1/125th power they are far more subtle as this sequence shows.
20. We had to do it. We popped outside for five minutes to shoot with the Gemini rig. Both the Lowel and Gemini rig are cable free so they can go anywhere without mains power.
22. Lighting a picture properly is so much better than just using a fast lens or high ISO.
23. We returned to the house via the stables.
27. For formal portraits the Gemini and Speedlight rig is the best I’ve used. The dress is clean and bright, the side light ads warmth and character to the shot and the softness of the brolly diffuses the shadows.
28. The sofa on the top landing at Dundas was in shadow until we lit it with a Speedlight in the Gemini.
30. The Gemini was perfect here too. This is my formal portrait set up. I’d use it for a bride or the queen.
33. As the light fades it’s time to bring out the Lowel.
35. One of my favourite shots is this frame lit with the Lowel. Great venues and fabulous brides deserve wonderful light. Nothing less will do.
When Laura, my PA organises training events like this we rely on the expert services of venue coordinators and I must say that both of our chosen venues were exceptionally helpful in accommodating us. Nothing is quite as romantic as a winter wedding in a Scottish castle but it is not easy for photographers to capture the magic. That is why expert photographers like Alan and Jackie keep ahead of their competition by regularly investing in training and the right tools for the job. It’s not surprising that the Rankines are in constant demand when others around them are finding the industry tough at the moment. Dedication to excellence pays off.
If you would like me to unravel your lighting challenges please send Laura an Email. Together we can put you ahead of your competition and fill your diary with top profitable weddings.