Modelling Debut (and Retirement!!)

South Skye Camera Club

Though probably one of the more infrequent attendees of the South Skye Camera Club I do enjoy the club nights immensly.  It is always great to view photography through a 'different lens' and the club brings together a full range of people who enjoy their photography, who take it very seriously, but who have at their disposable a huge variety of some of the key ingredients - time, equipment and opportunity.  I have yet to leave a club night, where images have been critiqued, not to have learnt something nor inspired by someone producing a fresh taken on an image their have created.  So often the re-working of a familiar scene which is given a new context sets my mind racing with possibilities

Last night was a practical session where Alligin Photography handed over a collection of lighting equipment, a very brief explanation of how it works and set out the simple brief of trying to create an image on a dark, wet evening which made use of different lighting set ups.  In the time we had available three set ups were used all based around a pick up truck with me as the model.  The method was simple.  Lights were either placed o nthe ground or parts of the vehicle or were hand held and directed by volunteers.  The photographer, for any given image, then adjusted the power of each light to hone in towards the image they wanted to create.

The approach is flexible and quick and works easily when you have volunteers to act as 'intelligent langht stands'.  A car, with all its shiny surfaces, is not the asiest to objects to shoot well and on the whole reflections from the lights wer avoided.  With a little more time all could easily have been removed from the shot.  For two of the photographers they were also working with a camera they were not familiar with, which again adds a little more complexity.  As a photographer who still prefers working with natural light compared to added light I fully appreciate it can be intimidating to work with off camera lighting but am also acutely aware of the opportunities it affords.

Overall it was a fun evening.  With more time the images could have been refined further but it was good to learn through hands on discovery of what can be achieved with off camera lighting.  And for me it will be good to return to a more comfortable positon behind, rather than in front, of the camera.

And as a final word.  If you do have trouble balancing the tone of your lighting then work in black and white where off camera lighting can easily provide some great effects.  I though I would go with my moddy look which I know his far removed from my naturally happy disposition!!

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