Urban Portraits in Manchester with Carla Monaco ~ pictures

May 12, 2013 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, Location | 11 comments

A single bare faced Speedlight was all we used for this set of pictures. We used it off camera here but later on you will see creative shots taken with the flash on camera.

01. A single bare faced Speedlight was all we used for this set of pictures. We used it off camera here but later on you will see creative shots taken with the flash on camera.

A Speedlight is such a powerful bit of kit when used well. I love hard light and this is what you get from it used off camera with no modifiers. Carla was such a sport on this shoot. It was cold and uncomfortable on the barrels.

02. A Speedlight is such a powerful bit of kit when used with a manual zoom setting. I love hard light and this is what you get from it used off camera with no modifiers. Carla was such a sport on this shoot. It was cold and uncomfortable on the barrels.

03.

03. On a cold overcast day in Manchester the Speedlight gave our pictures punch.

04.

04. Carla on the window sill of my favourite pub building in town.

05.

05.

06. Carla in the ginnal by Deansgate locks. I used f/1.4 on my Fujifilm 35mm lens to reduce the depth of field.

06. Carla in the ginnel by Deansgate locks. I used f/1.4 on my Fujifilm 35mm lens to reduce the depth of field.

07. Graffiti

07. Graffiti in the basement of a Deansgate bar.

08. A low angle Lovegrove classic.

08. A low angle Lovegrove classic.

09. Starsky and Hutch style graphics liven up this sunlit shot.

09. Starsky and Hutch style graphics liven up this sunlit shot.

10. I've been creating custom curves profiles in Lightroom to generate 'looks'

10. I’ve been creating custom curves profiles in Lightroom to generate ‘looks’. I’m not convinced I like them yet.

11. Carla at f/1.4 on the 35mm Fuji lens using my X-Pro1 camera.

11. I lit Carla with natural light and used f/1.4 on the 35mm Fuji lens with my X-Pro1 camera.

12. A single ~Speedlight gave a striking look to this Castlefield portrait.

12. A single ~Speedlight gave a striking look to this Castlefield portrait.

13. Low gamut harmony in thin monochromatic portrait.

13. Low gamut harmony in thin monochromatic portrait.

14. A zoomed in Speedlight on camera makes this shot work well. I used a Nikon SB900 on my Fuji X-Pro1.

14. A zoomed in Speedlight on camera makes this shot work well. I used a Nikon SB900 on my Fuji X-Pro1.

15.

15. I zoomed the Speedlight out to 50mm for this alternative shot in the same location.

16.

16. I posed Carla in a style I borrowed from Kate Moss. Her Belstaff campaign shots reminded me of a Blondie album artwork shoot and Carla in a leather jacket has overtones of both Debbie Harry and Kate.

17. One of my custom made film simulations partnered with the wonderful look from the 35mm wide open.

17. One of my custom made film simulations partnered with the wonderful look from the 35mm wide open.

18. Carla in the tunnel of love.

18. Carla in the tunnel of love under Gmex.

These shots were taken on my Urban Portraits workshop. It is my foundation workshop and an introduction into creative lighting. I limit the kit used to just a DSLR or compact system camera, a single Speedlight without modifiers and a lighting stand. All the strategies and techniques used are quite straightforward and the emphasis is on seeing the light and composition.

Go on, join me on my next Urban Portraits workshop, check out the details here.

11 Comments

    • damien

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for answering Mike’s question and thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  1. BRENDAN HARRINGTON

    Hi Damian
    Flash sync is restricted to one/onehundred and sixtieth on X Pro 1 and XE i.
    Does this force you use small apertures or have you another solution.Just wondering how you are managing to use the 35 mm lens wide open with flash.
    Ps admire your work always.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Brendan,

      I use ND filters. I have x4, x8 and x16 to chose from.

      I hope this helps,

      Damien.

      Reply
  2. Michael

    Damian, more fabulous work, thanks again for continuously sharing your images. I also wanted to say how much I enjoy the look of your B&W processing. Yummy. You’ve spoken a lot in the past about highlights and not worrying about blowing them out if they are unimportant to the focus of the image. Do you take the same approach with shadows? Letting them clip to black where it is unimportant or do you process to ensure there is still detail there when you print? Thanks again! Michale

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Michael,

      I expose for the shadows so that they will print and I light the subject as required. If I can control the highlights then I will. I hate black holes in my images but I don’t mind pure white.

      I hope this helps

      Damien.

      Reply
  3. Richard Mortimer

    Great photos as always. I particularly love the composition in 07.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your kind compliments and continued support.

      Have a fabulous summer,

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Mike

    I notice you used a nikon sb90 on your fuji x pro,so will a canon 580ex11 work off of my x100.Something like105 on flash,and wide on the lens if i mind right in one of the shots. All in manual i take it.
    I love the kate moss,debbie harry look style,suppose it kinda shows my age :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mike,

      If the Speedlight has a centre sync pin on it’s foot it will work just fine on any Fuji with a hot shoe (the 580ex11 does). Just try adjusting the flash and lens settings until you find a combination you like.

      I hope this helps.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply

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