Day 334 – A opportunity to see a photographer at work

I spent an amazing day in a photo studio with 2 members of my local camera club watching them work. I wanted to learn more about lighting and using a studio, and they kindly offered me the opportunity to come along, watch what goes into the starting blocks of creating their award winning images, they put together – they are not just photographers, they are contemporary artists and an amazing amount of thought and creativity goes into the images they put together.

Their photos are amazing – and award winning – they recently got presented with a Photographic Society of American Best of Show Gold Award in the Bregenz salon in Austria – and all their portrait shots tell a story. Please visit their web site – Quality Pixels or follow them of Qualify Pixels Photography on facebook to see some of their stunning work.

The studio space with a grey background
The studio space with a grey background

The day was more than I anticipated … I have never been a photographers assistant before and I was involved in all sorts of activities within the studio.

Watching the stance of the photographer and his interaction with the model.
Watching the stance of the photographer and his interaction with the model.
Watching the stance of the photographer and his interaction with the model.
Watching the stance of the photographer and his interaction with the model.
Behind the scenes - with the model
Behind the scenes – with the model
  • Selecting the backdrop, changing backdrops, I discover a neat trick to hold it in place
  • I saw a beauty dish in use for the first time and huge, I mean huge umbrellas
A change of looks - a different light set uo. Look at that umbrella.
A change of looks – a different light set up. Look at that umbrella.
  • I learn about placing the lights close to the model for a soft gentle more natural light, but remember how the light falls off and that you need to consider that in the light placement. How the angle of the light matters and how getting the light right in camera can save hours in post production. And how you need to be aware of the light behind you too.
  • I used gels and diffusers to change the colour of the spots and the light denstiy and then was told how you needed to compensate for that
  • I was made aware of how changing your f stop or you iso effects the lights and if you are using TTL how they they adjust automatically … but sometime you need more control so manual is the way to go
  • I saw how one light was set up at a time and more added, and then how the models clothing and height means it needs to be re-positioned.
  • I discovered that there is a lot of standing round for models, each is different – some interact with the camera better than others, some are more expressive and grab he concept easier, but it is up to the photographer to direct the image
  • I learnt more about tethering, and how important it is to take the time to check the focus on every usable shot and even taking a rough version into photoshop to see if the angle is right for the planned composite, and how important it was to know your equipment
Lightstands, camera gear and equipment .... even hiring a studio you are better taking your own gear as you know how it works and that it will work!
Lightstands, camera gear and equipment …. even hiring a studio you are better taking your own gear as you know how it works and that it will work!
  • I was explained the importance of using the same lens, the same F stop and the same horizon for taking composite images which makes creating images much more amazing….
  • I learnt about the fakery needed to make the perfect photo, how you need to retake, recompose and repeat until the shot is how the photographer sees it – and how the photographer has to plan all this before hand.
    • My Av shot, does not take advantage of any of the amazing lighting - but to work with a model and smoke was an amazing experience.
      My Av shot, does not take advantage of any of the amazing lighting – but to work with a model and smoke was an amazing experience.

      I discovered time runs away from you – the make up artist needs time to make up the model, the photographer needs time to set the studio, everyone wants their work perfect, but the transformations in a small space with a lot of thought are amazing

Transformation in makeup
Transformation in makeup
  • A great studio photo is so much more for the photographer to get the shot they visualize they need to plan the location, the light, the make up, the hair, the shoes, the props.

What a difference the lighting really makes – all my photos today were record shots, high ISO, fast shutter speeds to record moments from the day … except this one … I shot manual with the light trigger on my camera, there was not time to set up my camera for the shot… but also did not want to – this shoot was “Quality Pixels” – they had done the planning, the set up, booked the models, the makeup, got the costumes and the props, booked the studio and arranged the day … I was there to learn how to create my own image – not theirs!

I had a go with the lights all set up - but as I was on a different system it was not compatable... but also these are their creations not mine! straight out of camera!
I had a go with the lights all set up – but as I was on a different system it was not compatable… but also these are their creations not mine! straight out of camera!

The highlight for me – having the opportunity to participate, to be involved, to watch, observe and to be there – and hopefully to have helped.

PhotoChallenge-untitled-2510-7
Watching the interaction between photographer and model.

I am excited about seeing the final edited images and I would love the opportunity to attend again. You can view Quality Pixels Photography here, and this is one of their  finished images from the day.

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Finished Artwork by Quality Pixels
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