We lit up the Swan Valley!

We lit up the Swan Valley!

LightPlay 2 takes the “LightPlay” lighting workshop concept on the road. With two models, eleven photographers and one stylist in tow, we took to the Swan Valley on board a bus — with the express aim of shooting on location and showing workshop participants how to take control of lighting and create dazzling photographs!

Our first stop was Garvey Park in Guildford, the site of the old brickworks where clay was excavated from the banks of the river. Now lush wetlands, it was a perfect setting for our first shoot – with models Mal and Nene. The emphasis here was on controlling natural light when shooting in the shade, and making use of sunlight for rim, while exposing for the subject.

Photo by David Winch

 

Then, we brought on our speedlights, and looked at how TTL flash can be used as both key light and fill flash, on-camera and as bounce flash. Here’s Mal and Nene looking rather cosy with one another.

 

And here’s another of Mal looking a bit more “blue steel”, lit by flash bounced off a silver reflector camera right.

 

Meanwhile, Nene, our resident “cow girl” was hamming it up next to a lake – see how powerful a bounce flash can be in making a portrait taken in full sun pop?

Photo by John Miocevich

Photo by John Miocevich

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Samantha Kinkella)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Samantha Kinkella)

 

After Garvey Park, we headed to Taylor’s Cafe and Studio in the Swan Valley, and photographed in an “outdoor studio”. Working with portable manual strobes, participants learned how to make use of location and light positioning to take location portraits. We went with quite a sexy look here, with Mal all oiled up and sweaty ala fireman’ calendar dude, while Nene posed in something black and slinky, in keeping with the junkyard’s very gritty environment.

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

 

Our pit stop for lunch was at Ironbark Brewery, where participants shook off the heat with a cold beer (or ginger ale) and a great lunch spread.

 

Suitably re-fueled, we headed to Kosovich’s Vineyards and Winery for a spot of wine tasting, before shooting among the spring vines with an Elinchrom Ranger. We looked at how using a powerful light can allow photographers to overpower the sun, turning day into night and lighting up their subjects in dramatic fashion. With the sun hanging a little lower in the sky, it was time to play around with sun flare – shooting into the sun and lighting our models up with the Ranger. Mind you, we nearly lost the beauty dish when the wind picked up and sent it and the light stand tipping over a row of vines!

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Michelle Donoghue)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Samantha Kinkella)

Photo by Capturing Hearts Photography (Samantha Kinkella)

 

We went with a romantic theme in this shoot, and had Mal and Nene playing the part of a young couple traipsing through the vines.

 

We had to wait until after dark for our final session (no one minded as it meant we could wet the whistle at the Royal in East Perth), where we ventured down to the banks of Claisebrook Cove for some amazing fire and light painting courtesy of light-painter extraordinaire, Stephen Humpleby. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

 

LightPlay 2 was a long day, but packed with action, excitement and new opportunities for photographers to develop their skills in creative lighting! And participants LOVED it! As was summed up by one of our participants, Michelle of Capturing Hearts Photography:

“Had soooo much fun and learned so much! Light bulbs going off in my head as well as camera! All starting to make sense now. Can not thank you enough!”

If this has whet your appetite for some creative lighting, keep an eye out for LightPlay 3 – due out in April/May 2012!

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