Skip to main content

Male Nude Masterclass at the Societies Convention in London


Here are the results from my masterclass at the convention just over a week ago. During this talk I set out to show 3 different lighting techniques using just 2 lights and a white background. I sometimes use more than 2 lights but I wanted to show that good photos can be produced with the minimum of kit.


For the first we used a beauty dish to light our model with a second light for the background to give us a high key result. Had I been in my studio I would have used 2 lights to light my background but for such a tight crop the one light (centralised) was clearly good enough.


For the second I used a softbox (strip light) on one side with barn doors on the second light on the other side. In hindsight I wish I had a grid with me to soften the light coming from the barn doors side. Not being in my studio I didn't have all my kit to hand so had to use what was available on the day. I found the bare bulb a little too strong here. Notice how we managed to get the white background nearly black simply by bringing the subect further from the background and making sure the lights were pointing away from the background.


And the final image was done with a single exposure but with multiple occurances of the flash. I would have prefered to have taken longer to set this image up in order to get the background darker and the model more accurately exposesd but with only an hour and a half class we were limited.


I have found that a 6 second exposure works well in terms of giving the model enough time to move about. From there its just a matter of working out the exposure for each burst of light. If the room is dark enough, which it nearly was but not quite, it doesn't really matter what shutter speed we use in our light meter as only the flash is hitting our subject. I would also have brought the model and lights further from the background in order to ensure little to no spill hit the background to keep it darker. And finally I needed to work with the model a little more to get him posing the way I would have liked him for such an image. Below is the sort of shot I was going for.

I had an amazing time doing this masterclass. I ended on such a high, feeling better than I have felt for any of my classes in the past. I was so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and had a go at giving a lighting demonstration. Thank you to all who attended. Your interaction and feedback throughout made it a great couple of hours for me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work. In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below. (It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain) I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me

Do You Have a Little Pirate in Your Family?

If so, why not capture it in a beautiful portrait so you can cherish these memories forever? I designed and built this set for a client. She came to me with a son and daughter and during the consultation we discussed the interests of the children, as I always do. Our ideas for portraits for her daughter were going to be easy. She loved the idea of modelling pretty dresses so her shoot was sorted. Her son on the other hand was more difficult. Where ever possible I try to incorporate something about the children into each portrait. That can mean books, sports, dance, musical instruments or anything a person has an interest in. In this case he hadn't yet developed any interests, other than pirates. Now my client didn't want me to go to too much trouble. We agreed it wouldn't be easy to make anything pirate themed look as though it fit my style and level of quality. A shop bought costume wasn't going to cut it. But I just had to try. I love dark wood in my portrai

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see.  I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception. I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity. Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio. Its in this environment that I can take the time to

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week. (Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel) (Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers) Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I