The Light workshop ~ pictures and techniques

Nov 1, 2013 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, Location | 6 comments


01. A behind the scenes look at the set up for shots 14 and 15 below. The Elinchrom Quadra pack is hanging off the rear of the boom arm to keep it all in balance.

This was my last UK workshop. After seven years of training and educating the next generation of UK photographers using workshops I’m moving up to teaching dedicated small groups on a 1:1 to 1:4 basis. That way, we can shoot the best models in the best locations and genres that suit my clients needs entirely without restrictions on dates or budget. I may well be running some workshops when I’m on my international tours but from now on it will be videos and one to ones in the UK.

Here are 50 of the pictures that we shot on that final UK workshop. Enjoy

Over the two days we shot using naturally occurring light both inside and outside. We shot with Speedlights inside and out plus the powerful Elinchrom Quadra Flash. I completed the lighting workshop with the Lupolux and Arri continuous lighting systems.

Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 14mm, 35mm, 55-200mm lenses
Speedlights: 2x Nikon SB900 and 2x Canon 580 EX2 triggered with Ebay unbranded trigger systems.
Big flash: 2x Elinchrom Quadra kits with A heads.
Continuous light: 2x Lupolux 1000, 2x Lupolux 650, Arri 300 and 150 Junior fresnels and Lowel iD light with Lovegrove Li-ion battery.

Makeup: Liza S.
Models: Claire T and Liza S.
Styling: Clair, Liza and Damien Lovegrove.
Co tutor, shoot technician and good friend: Aneil Sharma of Etoile Photography.

Location: Pipewell Hall


02. I showed the group how to find fabulous natural light and to take control of it. Liza’s eyes and cheekbones are wonderfully highlighted with this direction of key light. 55-200mm lens wide open


03. There was always time for a bit of fun on a Lovegrove workshop and the seemingly zero delay on the Fuji X-Pro1 shutter means I’m always armed with the tools needed to capture it.


04. Paying careful attention to the direction and contrast of the natural light is key to making great pictures. 55-200mm lens wide open near the minimum focus distance.


05. The 55-200mm zoom lens on the Fuji X-Pro1 is a great portrait lens. The out of focus areas are more attention grabbing than the sublime 60mm prime but some people will love that. It all comes down to personal preference. Lit with natural light.


06. I showed the group how to find classic Lovegrove key and kick lighting in the natural environment. It’s the kick light from the right combined with the crisp key light that makes the next 6 shots.


07. Here is Claire, Prophotonut readers will remember her from a few years back. She is a bundle of fun and beautiful too.


08. I identified two-point lighting and constructed a full-length shot.


09. With the light coming from opposite directions I used one side as the key for Liza and the other as the key for Clair.

10. And here is a frame in colour. A fabulous low gamut spectrum of natural hues.

10. And here is a frame in colour with a fabulous low gamut spectrum of natural hues. Shooting from ground height emphasises the shapes of the beech trees.


11. I was asked how I’d shoot a bride and groom in this light and here it is. I’m still using the kick light on Clair. Look how bright and alive the girl’s eyes are. It’s great that they got on so well together :)


12. It’s the backlight and kick light that makes the shots look professional. No kit other than a camera with a lens was needed.

13. The lady of the manor for a 'Country Life' type editorial was lit with an Elinchrom Quadra and a Lastolite Ezybox.

13. This ‘lady of the manor’ shot for a ‘Country Life’ type editorial was lit with an Elinchrom Quadra and a Lastolite Ezybox. Being able to create a bit of sunshine on an overcast or wet day is an absolute must-have skill for any commercial photographer. The secrets I revealed here are priceless.


14. Now you can see why we needed the boom arm. The flash head is above the hedge on the left rigged high over sloping ground and just out of the top of the shot. This is the kind of lighting that you need the power of the Elinchrom Quadra for. The diffusion cap that comes with the A or S heads gives a lovely fall off to the light when used directly.

15. The same lighting set up shot from a different angle. I taught how to create lighting that can work from almost any angle.

15. The same lighting set-up shot from 120 degrees clockwise. I taught how to create lighting that can work from almost any viewpoint. Notice how the separation of tones works. Dark hedge tips against a light grass and a light Clair against a dark grass. The separation of tones is a vital ingredient in good picture making.

16. I rigged a pair of Speedlights outside to create this classic two point set up.

16. I rigged a pair of Speedlights in my two-point lighting set up to create this classic ‘lit’ shot. Perfect for ‘knitwear monthly’ magazine.


17. The bokeh on this shot is a little more painterly but still slightly confused. When I choose a lens it is not for the sharpness, all new lenses are sharp, it’s for the way the out of focus areas are rendered. Some produce oil paintings and others grab the attention and steal the show. Just what I don’t want to happen. 55-200mm lens wide open.


18. Clair is such a beauty, radiant and great fun. I shot her with the 55-200mm wide open. Here the very low contrast in the background makes for a rather bland bokeh. We have the choice of backgrounds and it’s really easy to establish your style with the kind of backgrounds you choose.


19. This looks lit and in a way it is. I selected the spot among the trees carefully so that Clair has a key light as well as a backlight.


20. I love lines and that curve of Clair’s jawline is wonderful.


21. Along with the fun there was ample time for a few calmer portraits too. I like to use a strand of hair to frame the face and here it follows the line of Clair’s cheekbone emphasising the change of light level on either side.

22. One of my 'Girls in hedges' collection. It had to be done.

22. One for my ‘Girls in hedges’ collection. It had to be done :)


23. Classic Georgian shutters make great reflectors.

23. Classic Georgian shutters make great reflectors.



25. Notice how Clair’s hair echoes the line of her cheekbone. I love that.



26. We lit the arch to reveal lower mid-tones and Clair into upper mid-tones.



27. We controlled the window light to create this pool of light on Liza.

28. The 35mm f/1.4 lens on the Fuji X-Pro1 is a joy to use. Pin sharp with a bokeh that may as well sing poetry.

28. The 35mm f/1.4 lens on the Fuji X-Pro1 is a joy to use. Pin sharp with a bokeh that may as well sing poetry.





31. One of my favourite pictures from the shoot. Simple light with lines and angles plus the look to hold the viewer’s eye forever.


32. Our Sunlight on the stairs sequence was created with a pair of Speedlights, a boom arm, a Gemini bracket and a silver umbrella. This spot was dark, very dark, before we brought it to life with flash.

33. Everyone loved this little set up with an Arri 300 Junior as the key and a Lowel iD light as the back light.

33. Everyone loved this little set up with an Arri 300 Junior as the key and a Lowel iD light as the back light.

34. By increasing the exposure and the contrast we created this starlet shot :)

34. By increasing the exposure and the contrast we created this starlet shot :)



Pipewell hall has so many fabulous shoot locations both inside and out. I have secured the use of Pipewell for personal tuition. It is available for my 1:1 and small group training and it is perfect for the following genres: Art Nude, Boudoir, Hollywood Glamour, Avant Gardé Fashion and Romantic Couples shoots. Email Laura, Email Blaise or phone us for more information and prices. You can also see my dedicated UK training page here.


36. Some of my favourite portraits are profile shots. They need good lighting to work well. The motivation for my key and backlights are the table lamps. The light that falls on Clair is assumed to have come from the table lamps but as we know that would be impossible. It’s a subtle art to know just how far you can go and get away with it.


37. I used two lights on Liza for this shot too.


38. We moved to the cottage for a continuous light session with the Lupolux and Arri lights. I introduced the remarkable Scatter Gels. I broke the line of Liza’s hair to add a bit of mystery.


39. A simple over the shoulder shot was perfect for this moment of fun.


40. Shooting straight down the line of the Lupolux 1000 with Scattergel gives remarkably beautiful effortless portraits.




42. The Lupolux 100 with a Scattergel again.




46. Liza is great fun to shoot with.


47. Fabulous.








51. Simple light graces a super figure. Thank you Liza, you are a wonderful soul with energy, fun and fabulousness abound.

So there you have it. One of our delegates came all the way from Oklahoma. I’ve had a fabulous time organising and shooting workshops in the UK, now it’s my turn to do the travelling. On my radar is a certain ranch in Oklahoma :) Let the adventures begin.

I’ll be making videos, running Lovegrove Shop, doing 1:1 training in the UK and adventures abroad. One such adventure is in Cambodia. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. The chance to have a real photographic adventure with other equally passionate photographers. The secret is out, the dates are set. Here are the details. Ring Blaise or Laura on +44(0)1275 853204 before the Christmas break and knock a further 10% off the already reasonable cost.


  1. Pavel

    Amazing images and great work with ligh.

    Btw Liza S. beautifil model. Do you have any other work with she?

    Best regards,


    • Damien

      Hi Pavel,

      Thank you for your kind words. Theses are my only pictures with Liza S.

      Best, Damien.

  2. Paul Jones

    Excellent images as always Damien. My favourites are numbers 5, 7, 12 and 25.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you on Tuesday night at Stoke-on-Trent. :-)

    Best regards

    • Damien

      Thanks Paul.

      I love those frames too. It’s the personality connection thing. Cheers :)

      Stoke will be great fun. I’m in Southampton at the Digital Imaging Show on Monday and then Stoke on Tuesday and Wednesday for Concept to Print. I’m all prepared and we have the fabulous Carla Monaco with us for the evening.

      See you there,


  3. Mark Dell

    As usual Damien fantastic!
    I am looking at expanding my portrait side somewhat.
    I am keen to buy a Quadra too!
    One thing I will say is I massively disappointed that there are no more UK group training.

    • Damien

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the compliments :)

      The great news is I am still doing group training. In fact I’ve had more bookings for group training events in the past three weeks than I’ve done workshops this year. The format has changed. With workshops, I had to guess what day people might be available, then book a model and a venue. I choose a lighting style and a genre and then see who decided to book. With my new system you get together with your photographer friends, sort out a date and choose a genre like Art Nude, Boudoir, Street Fashion, Studio Lighting etc. We then choose a location together. I can come and teach in your town or your studio. I can arrange for a city centre boutique hotel or a country mansion for us to shoot in. You get to choose your model and you pay less as well. When I put on workshops I had to charge a buffer incase it didn’t sell out. So this new system is a win/win.

      I have a secret Facebook group where photographers are organising themselves into groups, making arrangements and making bookings. My diary is now busier than ever. The old business model was outdated so it was time to move on. I’m also doing 1:1 training and Yesterday I did a Speedlight training day for a Nikon shooter in Bristol. He chose to have a later start so that we ended the day in the dark. It worked out really well and we covered exactly what he needed to learn. The shots he took are unique and are his to use as he wishes.

      If you would like an invite to the Facebook group. Friend me or Lovegrove Staff and ask to be added.

      Kindest regards,



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