My latest photography workshop, Posing and Lighting, occurred just outside Kamloops this past weekend at a local studio owned by Dave Monsees of Cherry Creek.
I will begin with a perfect quote I have used before by photographer and author Frank Criccho that goes with what I was wanted the participants to think about. Criccho stated, “The success of a photographic portrait depends as much on the photographer’s artistic and creative use of lighting techniques as it does on his or her skill with the camera.”
Much of the time photographers either prefer to photograph people in the daylight or, if forced to shoot indoors, just increase their camera’s ISO. And there are too many that when they do decide to employ On or Off-camera flash go for the easiest method of just filling the space with lots of light.
During these sessions I lead my goal is to get participants thinking about not only posing our model, but also about the using the flash light as more than just a device to brighten up the environment.
I want them to begin making decisions as to how to apply light on their subject in the same way they might decide to use a long focal length lens rather than a short focal length lens.
As always, when I lead a full day session like this one, I feel my task is to present information and keep things going. And I always leave plenty of time for the participants to engage with the model and experiment with techniques. Watching workshop participants grasp and learn photographic lighting is a fun and satisfying activity for me.
I began the workshop with a quick slide show. Hmm…I guess we don’t have slide shows any more and instead connect a computer to a digital projector to provide a PowerPoint presentation. In any event we started the day off with a presentation that showed how different modifiers affected the light on a subject. So when our model Autumn arrived it was, “lights, camera, action.”
We spent the majority of the day (barely breaking for lunch) using many different light modifiers, changing the angle of the lights, applying light in creative ways, employing different backdrops, and of course, studying posing.
I will say these kinds of workshops are really demanding on a very patient and hard working model as she constantly and quickly alters her outlook and holds any pose the excited photographers request; all the while giving each photographer time to apply what I was continually introducing.
I can’t really say much regarding those enthusiastic photographers, I expect they were filled with the energy most photographers get when they are learning and creating, but by 4pm Autumn and I were ready to wind down. A good day well done.
“A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.” – Charles Baudelaire, Poet – 1859