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 seemed somewha…

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before.


When I first heard that Phoebe was transi…

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 portraits and I …

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

Experiencing Photography in the Real World by Sophie Clarke

My name is Sophie Clarke and I am from Redmoor Academy. I spent the week doing work experience with my friend Isabelle at Christina Lauder Portraits. I chose to do my work experience with Christina as I have a very keen interest in photography and I wanted to know more about being a photographer as a career. From spending the week with Christina, I have now learnt that being a photographer isn’t just about taking photos; there is so much more behind it.
Isabelle and I testing the lighting and set up for prom

On the first day, we mainly watched Christina develop some of her images on the computer using software such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Colour Efex. This has now taught me new skills because before I didn't really have any knowledge about these, so I will now be able to use what I have learnt in my own work. The next day, in preparation for a trial prom shoot, Isabelle and I helped set up and put the props in place. Whilst Christina was photographing the client, she taught us a…