location

Location lighting half day workshop in London

Thursday 23rd May at the wonderful Cherryduck Studios in Wapping.

For anyone who remembers that far back my www.dg28.com website started out as a vehicle for me to post updates about the work that I was doing along with some technique examples that I rather pompously called “photographer education”. Well, that was in 1999 and a couple of years later I started doing occasional workshops and lectures about my use of portable flash on location. I have done a lot of talks over the years including a couple on behalf of The BPPA to coincide with exhibitions that were held on the old SS Robin at Canary Wharf. SS Robin attendee Steven Frischling said

“He’s good folks… totally worth the price of admisssion, got off the plane and went right to work with what I learned from you within hours”.  
(Steven had flown from Pennsylvania and was en route to Germany!) (more…)

Location flash workshop – June 22nd

for_the_blog

For anyone who remembers that far back, my dg28.com website started out as a vehicle for me to post updates about the work that I was doing along with some technique examples that I rather pompously called “photographer education”. Well, that was in 1999 and a couple of years later I started doing occasional workshops and lectures about my use of portable flash on location. I have done a lot of talks over the years but, because of my commitments at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games I didn’t take part in any workshops last summer. That is about to change.

In conjunction with the team at Up To Speed we are going to be running a lecture and workshop on Saturday 22nd of June right here in my hometown of Bournemouth. There are two options for anyone wanting to come along: there’s a half day morning session which will be classroom based where we will explore some theory, go through some of the basic techniques and generally talk the talk. For anyone wanting to make it a full day (smaller number of places) we then go off to a nearby park for the afternoon and put some of what we have discussed into practice with a model and some of my gear. You can bring your own kit as well if you want to get better acquainted with what you use – your choice.

  • Morning only  £80.00 inc VAT
  • Full day  £120.00 inc VAT
  • Some group discounts are available
  • Discounts for members of The BPPA and NUJ

I’m happy to answer any questions that you might have or you can get in touch with Up To Speed on 0800 121 6818 or by email rcarr@uptospeedjournalism.co.uk

No two workshops are alike because we can never know what the British weather is going to give us; the good news is that cloudy days are just as much fun as shooting against the sun. The workshop is aimed at three groups:

  • Professionals wanting to develop their skills
  • Serious amateurs who want to get more from their passion
  • Photography students wanting to supplement their knowledge

I hope that this will be the first of many that we run in Bournemouth. Remember that you can always dump the rest of the family off on one of our rather good beaches and join them for the last swim of the day…

Original dg28.com technique pages

Between January 2000 and June 2008 I posted a large number of technique examples taken from my daily work to show how I used light in an era where digital cameras were pretty poor at ISOs over 800 or even 400 in the case of the venerable Kodak DCS520. These days flash is a creative choice rather than a technical necessity but the techniques still stand up.

One of the technique pages was entitled simply “Why we use lights” and it is an extreme example of just how much difference some judiciously used flash can make. Early Autumn on a Friday evening in the UK isn’t often a time when the best opportunities to shoot great pictures present themselves. This one, was a real exception.

©Neil Turner/TSL

The subject of the portrait runs an educational organisation that serves a coastal area near where I was born. I should know the area like the back of my hand but I don’t and when my subject suggested that we went up on top of the Isle of Portland (not an island at all, just a peninsula!) I thought that it would make a decent enough backdrop but that the view might be obscured by mist. The two pictures below were taken with different lenses but they were taken within a few seconds of each other and show just how much of a difference a bit of flash can make.

Back in 2008 when I “retired” these pages I wrote the following as a background to my philosophy regarding portable location lighting:

A lot of news photographers don’t think that they are allowed enough time to light pictures, so they rely on their hot shoe mounted flash or on moving their subject into the daylight. If your kit is lightweight and well planned, if it’s reliable and quick to assemble then you can light as much of your work as you want to. I tend to specialize in editorial portraiture, so that is the area of work that I’m going to talk about.

When I was writing these pages my basic kit was one Lumedyne 200 joule pack, one Signature head, two regular batteries, one stand, an umbrella, a Chimera softbox and a Pocket Wizard kit – all in one sling bag. Since May 2009 that all changed and the Lumedyne kit was replaced by an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra system. I still like the Lumedynes but the Elinchrom is a few percentage points better! In October 2003 I added an Umbrella Box to my kit in the hope of replacing two light modifiers with one, which has worked in some ways but I have to confess that I go through phases of using each of the light modifiers for a while and then switching.

In the years when I was a staff photographer and posting regular monthly galleries as well as technique and opinion pages my website was getting up to 20,000 unique visitors a month. Numbers have clearly dropped off now that new content hasn’t been added for three and a half years but I’m still amazed by the the fact that in one day last month the technique home page still got 996 unique visitors.

Some day, I am going to write a book – yeah, I know – we all say that… The backbone of that book will be an up-to-date explanation of the theory behind some the 60+ technique samples posted on the original dg28.com. In the meantime, be my guest – follow the link below to the old technique pages and have look around. Be warned: one very well known blogger claims to have lost an entire night’s sleep doing just that.

ORIGINAL DG28 TECHNIQUE PAGES