Lighting Workshop, my 1st go!

Trying new things in photography to challenge myself has become my new direction with this passion of mine.  Previously I have already tried night photography with varying results (more about that here) and I've read lots but was needing the next step (or should I say push). A common titbit of advice I've read repeatedly was "learn light".  I interpret this to not just be learning how to use a flash or become an advocate of only using natural lighting, but to truly learn how light in our environment behaves and how to use it to best advantage within photography. This includes light sources, light behaviour, how to modify light and even how best to deal with lack of light.

In my lighting research I had already read this rather wonderful guide and watched this cool video but we all know that reading/watching are fine ways to learn, BUT doing is by far THE best way!  Timing was perfect and on a discussion group in Facebook several new photographers had been discussing what they were trying to learn and try next, lighting and off camera flash coming up several times in conversation.  From this discussion, Ashley Redding provided a niche filler and sent out an open invite to a lighting workshop that he was arranging. Perfect timing one may say!

Showing interest and putting my name down, not know what to expect, I roped a friend into the session too (Sharne again) for safety in numbers and the date was set.  There were to be 6 of us lucky photographers, Ashley  as tutor and a model, as yet unknown.  We were all meeting at Twilight Photo Studio in Great Wakering at 2pm on Saturday 30th November 2013 for a 2 hour tutorial/shoot.

Timing the journey completely wrong and having done a drive by already as well as a stop in a nearby pub for a beverage, we showed up.  Trepidation and nervousness abound at walking into the unknown.

Needless to say, Ashley was there to meet us and within 5 minutes we were in, drinking coffee and merrily introducing ourselves to the group.  Swift Nikon vs Canon banter with the odd jibe at Sony ensued and we were all off to a flying start.

The model for the afternoon was Gemma John and would have to sit there whilst we all bantered and jibed Ashley for having a Canon.

Very ingeniously, Ash had set up tethered shooting via a laptop into Adobe Lightroom and there was a prominantly displayed larger monitor for us onlookers.

We learned the differences between Hard light, soft light, modified light and all the modifiers that can be employed.

Then with a single light setup it was our turn - yaa hoo!!

This was the lighting setup and the result of our first go.  We had lift off  :)

Twilight 1-1 Lighting Diagram

Twilight 1-1-result















We progressed at a fairly slow pace due to the number of queries and tangents followed, but Gemma was admirably professional, taking lots of boring conversations in her stride.  Ashley did give her a stool to ease the pain, as us photographers discussed what ifs and maybes galore.  We moved on to a 2 light setup and things were cracking along nicely.

This was the lighting setup and the result of our next turn with the flash trigger.  Cooking on Gas now :)

Twilight 1-2 Diagram

Twilight 1-2-result














All in all we took probably 30 to 50 pictures, some of the photographers even getting into the action too, Gemma valiantly jumping in the air for everyone to say "nope, missed it try again 1...2...3...jump..." over and over haha.  Bringing out the festive outfit to remind us all that Christmas was coming too.

All of these antics induced because being at Twilight Photo Studios is so relaxed and informal as well as plentiful coffee & custard creams along with Ashley's fantastic patience and explanatory manner.  None of us were expecting to be experts after one session, but we all certainly understood a whole lot more that when we arrived.

I will leave off with some of the more polished images that I took after Post Processing them in Lightroom.

Gemma Gemma Gemma