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Photography Training In Porthcawl

Photography Training In Porthcawl

I had a great time last Friday evening with members of Bridgend Photographers Facebook Group, and led some more Photography Training In Porthcawl.

This was the seventh course I’ve taught to this group, and we’ve covered a lot of ground over the last eighteen months or so.

The members, many of whom are fairly new to photography have really improved since I taught my first flash photography course to them – ‘The Lowdown On Speedlites‘.
Some of the members have really got their teeth into flash photography, and seem to have caught the bug, and every few days I see them proudly post photographs of new lighting equipment they’ve bought. This is fantastic, and they really seem to be enjoying their photography more.

The Facebook group has recently had a lot of new members join, and so it was decided to run another introduction course on flash photography, this one was simply called ‘Back To Basics With Flash’, and was meant to be a grass-roots introduction into lighting.

The course contained a lot of information on the principles of light direction, relative size and colour. Lumping all these terms under a generic heading of ‘Light Quality’, I walked everyone through what the main considerations were when we choose to light a subject, how we do this, and more importantly why we light.

Once we’d moved on to the technicalities of using strobes, it became apparent that many of the attendees, wanted to know more about using Speedlites and especially the use and control of Evaluative Through The Lens Metering (ETTL), and this part of the course took up most of the time we had available to us.

Personally I don’t use ETTL very much, I’ve found over the years that manual control of Speedlites gives me very consistent results and using the ‘Guide Number’ of my Speedlite and the simple equation GN=Aperture x Distance, works very well.
Of course a little bit of experience is required to do this, as different zoom settings of the flash head, will change the relative amount of flash illuminating our subject, but it doesn’t take long to pick this technique up and refine it.

One thing I really drove home on the course is the unnecessary use of translucent plastic light modifiers – Stofens and The Gary Fong Light Sphere are two of my pet hates.
I explained the correct principles of using on-camera fill flash and demonstrated why these bits of expensive ‘Tupperware’, not only waste battery power, but can actually create a lower quality of light.
I have no idea whatsoever why Nikon include such a device with their Speedlites.
The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to placate the novice photographer, who thinks that direct fill flash needs to diffused by a tacky piece of plastic, even though the major camera manufacturers would have spent small fortunes, developing a near perfect portable flash system in the first place.
Everyone who has ever attended one of my Photography Training In Porthcawl courses will have been given a demonstration on how to use fill flash correctly.

Take a look at this review of different Speedlite modifiers by Neil Van Niekerk on his Tangents blog. Review-comparing-light-modifiers-on-camera-flash

Most of the rest of the evening was spent demonstrating classical lighting patterns. There’s a very logical reason to me teaching this.
What’s the point in knowing how to expose a subject properly with flash, if the photographer places the light incorrectly and creates an unflattering portrait of their subject?

So I walked everyone through five classical lighting patterns, Split lighting, Rembrandt, Clamshell, Open and Closed Loop.

In the past I’ve used flash during this part of the course, but I decided to use a video light on this occasion.
It gave everyone the opportunity to see the lighting patterns in real-time, and also directly see how subtle changes in the positioning of the light changes the shadows on the models face.

I also discussed two important lighting styles, namely short and broad lighting. I explained that these were styles of lighting not lighting patterns as such. More importantly I demonstrated how the position of the light and the subject’s head position to the light can change the style of the lighting along with camera position.

As usual it was Rob Jones who kindly volunteered to be our primary model, and I’d like to thank Rob for kindly hosting the course in his new studio in Porthcawl.
I’d like to wish Rob every success in his new studio and hope his business grows from strength to strength.
Rob can be contacted through his website and is available for Weddings, Christenings and Bar Mitzvah’s.  🙂
Rob Jones Photography

If you’d like some one to one photography tuition, don’t be shy just get in touch using the contact form below or come along to the next group Photography Training In Porthcawl meet. You don’t have to be a member of the Facebook group to take part, it’s always great to see new faces  – Well lit new faces. 🙂

Photography Training by Randell John Photography Rob Jones kindly modelled for me during the lighting demonstration and hosted the course in his new studio in Porthcawl. Split Lighting using the Lowel iD Video Light.

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