Follow this Blog in your Email!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where the Light Is - Day Two of the US Workshops Tour

Model, Bonni Mircovich, photographed in a parking lot
Mark Comon using a white backdrop as a reflector
in the parking lot behind Paul's Photo

Our Natural Light Creative People Photography workshop has been a real eye opener for almost every customer who has attended it in past years. Its profound ability to reveal the omnipresence of workable light and the potential within it has left our customers truly astounded sometimes. Such was the case with this event for Paul's Photo in Torrance, California.
Summer had eluded LA this year,...until we arrived. Suddenly the California sun decided to break out in a rebellious and somewhat last minute manifestation of its true character the very day we arrived. It was well and truly out for the Fullerton Photographics event, and even moreso for this workshop the day after. It seems that our acronym – CPW – can also stand for Can Produce Weather.
Matt on Black, using only window light
What this meant is that we couldn't have people standing outside for the whole afternoon. Sure, Californians are used to heat and sunshine, but the parking lot at Paul's is not exactly an idyll for any photographer. And yes, that was our intended location for the shooting part of the workshop.
So, once again, Glynn and I are compelled to pull stuff out of our collective hat. The sun being what it was, we decided to stay inside at the back of Paul's Photo and run our workshop to a large degree in there. Mark Comon, who owns and runs Paul's Photo, is a true believer in education and runs a lot of events and workshops himself. Having set aside a special area at the back of his store for seminars and presentations, he also gave us a place to work.
Matt on white, using only window light
Using a simple fold out backdrop – white on one side and black on the other – we were able to teach the varying potential and nature of window light, metering and camera to subject relationships. We were in that back room for the first three hours of the afternoon, teaching high key and low key techniques as well as the need for a photographer to walk the arc, something we teach again and again at this workshop. You will need to come along to this workshop to find out what I mean. Sorry...I can only offer so much free stuff here...hehe....
However, part of this workshop compels us to take it outside sooner or later, no matter the light. You see, our entire premise is that there is no such thing as bad light, only the poor use of it. Another premise is that locations are irrelevant. Hmm, that can sometimes be a difficult one that forces us to put our money where our mouth is. For this workshop, Mark offered us his parking lot. Now, let me tell ya, this is no paradise. But, true to form, we were able to place our fabulous models, Matt and Bonni in some wonderful light and produce some rather impressive portraits. Once again our customers were amazed by what can be achieved when you simply 'find the light and put 'em in it.'
Come along to the next of these Natural Light Portrait workshops to find out what we mean. You won't be disappointed...even if I say so myself. I have to admit that this has probably been the most profound lesson of my photographic career and I am so happy to see its effect on others as it is paid forward. Its an epiphany that changes how you see light. That's a rather worthwhile epiphany for a photographer, don't you think?
Bonni on white, using window light

No comments:

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller