365 Challenge #232 - rockin' the studio!

Yesterday was another huge day in at Photo Continental - all indoors for the Creative Photo Workshops Studio Essentials workshop.

We arrived to find all manner of backdrops, reflectors, tents, soft boxes, umbrellas and grids set up for 6.5 intensive hours of LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

It was also my first real road test of the Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 lens, which became my favourite portrait lens in about the first 10 minutes of shooting. It's SO crisp. Was that an a-ha moment about the benefits of prime lenses over zooms?? Methinks yes. I deliberately shot with the Tamron lens all day to see what this little baby was capable of. I was absolutely delighted with the results. You can see more of the images from the day in my Flickr Photostream.

We kicked off with a portrait of the beautiful Eve, in a simple one-light setup against a black mottled background. A soft box provided lovely soft light around Eve and gorgeous catchlights in her eyes. The second setup evolved easily from there, where we introduced a second light to highlight Eve's hair. Seems so simple! Could I replicate this if I had the gear? I think so.

We moved through various lighting situations, with Glynn and Shelton explaining the different qualities of light that soft boxes, beauty dishes and the various other bits and pieces (this is clearly a technical term) created. All the while, my credit card was haemorraging while I pondered how to create space in my very small one bedroom apartment, for a studio.

Just as we built up light, we built up scenes, where we had one person, then introduced a second - really helpful principles for virtually any kind of shoot.

There were also seamless white backdrops and tents, which gave us the opportunity to shoot photos of products. This is yet another area of interest for me in terms of where I want to take my photography, so it was great to be able to experiment with various lighting setups.

Like any of these workshops, the day was really all about light - highlights and shadows, angles and quality of light. We learnt how to soften the light to create flattering portraits of ladies, and how to harden it to carve out the features of our male model, Gavin.

It was another inspiring day of photography. It blows me away to think how many different ways there are to light a subject - natural light, available light, on and off camera flash, studio lighting etc. It makes me realise how little I know about all this stuff, but how much I want to keep learning and practicing!

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