Portrait and fashion lighting course

“Give me a day….”

Every month, I run a lighting training course for Lencarta at a hotel in Kent.  We start the day from absolute basics – how to turn lights on, how to make them go flash, how not to kill yourself.  By the end of the day, the delegates are creating complex multi light setups of their own against the clock.  And every time I am always amazed at how much they can learn in a day.  This weekend was no exception.

The pictures below are the results of exercise I set the delegates.  They set up the lights, direct the model and took pictures.  Sometimes they needed a little help and advice – sometimes they didn’t.  When they had done that I pinched their lights and stole a couple of shots.  The results below are my unedited pictures showing their lighting skills.

1. Gareth.

We used a lastolite hilite as an easy to stand white background.  To make things harder, Gareth wasn’t allowed to put any light inside the hilite.  That’s the normal way to use them – treating the hilite like a vinyl background is much harder especially because the hilite if made of translucent material which is hard to light correctly.

White background portraiture

You can see just a little grey creeping in to the bottom edges of the background.  With 10 more minutes Gareth would have nailed this.  As it is, it’s a very easy edit to correct.

2. Lynsey

Lynsey hadn’t used studio lights before.  At all.  So she looked a little concerned when I asked her to shoot a perfect black background portrait.  20 minutes later she had it sorted though.

Black background photography


3. Marie

Marie’s an experienced photographer who prefers available light.  She wanted to get more comfortable with flash.  So naturally, I gave here a fiendishly tricky exercise involving available light and a Safari location pack.  Amazingly this isn’t late afternoon on a glorious sunny day – it’s 10 past 4 on a fairly dull afternoon in early autumn.  The shadows aren’t coming from the sun….

Lencarta Safari location system

4. Will

And then there was Will.  He’d been on a course with me already and wanted a refresher to solidify his understanding of some subjects.  No problem.  I sent him outside with Mikel and let him use regular studio heads and an extension lead to take control of the sunshine.

Studio flash on location

Location portraiture can be pretty tricky.  But once you can replace the sun with flash there’s really no limit to what you can do.

So….4 delegates gave me a day of their time and turned in 4 excellent portraits. Join us?