It was a a chilly couple of days in April when I visited the beautiful city of Brugge. I ran two one day workshops showing how I make the world my studio, utilising the city environment as creative backgrounds for portraits. We were blessed with all kinds of weather and this gave everyone a really great learning experience as a result.
Camera: Fuji X-Pro2 with the 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom and the 50-140mm f/2.8 zoom
Models: Rosalinde Kikstra and Larissa de Castro.
Logistics: Ioannis Tsouloulis
01. Top left: Larissa under cover in the brewery yard lit with a single Cactus RF60 off camera rigged on a lighting stand using this flash bracket. All the other pictures were taken with natural light. As it was raining at the start of each day I showed how to find great natural light and how to use the Cactus flash system.
02. Rosalinde in the brewery lit with available light. We were offered the chance to use the old brewery museum as a shoot location as the rain came down but after a couple of frames we made our way out onto the streets.
03. We attracted quite a bit of attention and Rosalinde gained a new admirer. The shot at the top utilises the natural light to give a classic 3 point lighting style. The shot bottom right uses the Cactus RF60 again.
04. This is the same location as the top picture in shot 3 above.
05. Every city has it’s creative modern architecture and Brugge is no exception. I lit Rosalinde with a single, barefaced Cactus RF60 Speedlight as before.
06. On the right is a behind the scenes shot of the setup above.
07. Larissa was lit with a symmetrical pair of Cactus Speedlights for this group of shots taken down the side of the building above.
08. Larissa is again lit with a pair of symmetrical Speedlights. It’s a classic Lovegrove set up that can make punchy, interesting pictures on any dull day.
09. Rosalinde on the left is lit with a classic two flash set up and Larissa is lit with a slightly more complex set up involving a white balance shift.
10. When the sun came out I used the opportunity to show how I use the Fuji X camera settings to control contrast and shadow detail. Even in crisp hard sunlight the Fuji can capture a beautiful tonal range in the shadows (top left) with the right settings. As well as tweaking the tone settings in camera I dialled in Pro Neg S as the film simulation both in camera and in Lightroom when I processed the RAW file.
11. Coloured gels on the left and flash on camera on the right.
12. I love this little sequence of Larissa. We shot in a doorway while we took shelter from the rain.
13. A closed shop provided an opportunity for a simple natural light shot and another flash on camera shot.
14. A little alleyway was the scene for this simple shot of Larissa. I lit her with the two Cactus RF60 Speedlights. The BTS shot is a reverse angle.
15. Sunlight and Cactus make a wonderful combination.
16. Left: Speedlight as a key and right: Sunlight as a key.
17. I then used the Cactus Speedlight as a kick light on Larissa.
18. Rosalinde in Hat Shoppe Alley lit with a pair of Cactus Speedlights (left and top).
19. Larissa in Hat Shoppe Alley lit with one Speedlight and a CTO gel.
20. We finished both sessions with some sunlit fashion inspired portraits.
21. After the shoot we found our way back to the brewery for some well earned refreshment.
My thanks go to Fuji X photographer Ioannis for chauffeuring me, rigging the Speedlights and being a good friend. All these shots were taken on the two f/2.8 zooms and I must say I missed my wide primes. It was great to borrow the XF16-55mm lens from Ioannis for the trip but I’ll be sticking with my XF16mm, XF23mm and XF35mm lenses for now.
If you want to shoot alongside me somewhere in the world or attend a workshop join our Lovegrove Creative Facebook Group and suggest a location. Alternatively visit my website or join the Facebook page.