After many years of delivering workshops around the world, one thing keeps coming up time and time again as an excuse for not practicing studio lighting. The reason many people quote for not improving their studio lighting is a lack of space and equipment to test ideas.
Not having a professional photographic studio nearby to experiment, learn and practice your lighting, shouldn’t be a reason for not improving. Not having a big studio space to practice in isn’t an excuse because so many great big studio lighting setups can be performed in the smallest of spaces and with limited equipment if the proper light control is applied.
‘But how can this be possible? Surely you need big open studio spaces to create big beautiful light.’
Thankfully no matter what size studio space you have, one thing is always universally consistent. Light.
Whether your studio is big or small, light has very defined characteristics. This means that if there’s a lighting setup you like that was created in a big studio, we can take those same lighting characteristics and implement them in a small studio space to create the same look.
How to read lighting - Giving you the skills and knowledge to look at lighting and understand its characteristics. It’s with this knowledge that we’re able to implement that same lighting in whatever studio space we have.
How to control the light - Controlling the light is not just about what flash modifier you use, but how you control the light in small spaces where light is prone to bouncing around.
How to spot and manage colour contamination - Often we may be shooting on location in small spaces where there are nearby colours that can contaminate our final shot. In this workshop we’ll go over how to spot this and what steps to take to ensure a clean and crisp lighting, free of those colour contaminants.
Background variety in small spaces - If we’re shooting from a home studio we can get tired of the very limited background choices. In this workshop we’ll discuss a wide variety of alternative backgrounds that are very space conscious but also incredibly affordable.
Plus: I’ll also share how I make my own DIY mottled backdrops very easily and affordably.
Space saving equipment - When we’re shooting in big studios we can get used to some of the bigger modifiers and booms that come with those spaces. In this workshop I’ll share what tools I use to recreate that lighting in smaller spaces and the pieces of equipment I use to achieve those looks.
6 big studio lighting setups for small spaces - Of course the main focus of the day will be lighting and photographing our model and this workshop will teach you 6 lighting setups that can be shot in practically any size space.
In the morning of the workshop we’ll begin with the theory and characteristics of light and how to control it in small spaces. Then we’ll jump straight into setting up our first of six lighting set-ups and begin photographing our model.
First off we’ll look at a seemingly complicated lighting setup that is in actuality an incredibly simple one light setup. This first setup is an excellent example of how you can take a complicated multi-light setup and with an understanding how light works, redevelop it for smaller spaces with only a single light.
This next setup is simply a development of the first one but with the addition of a couple of lights we can really begin to add more control and shape back into our lighting as well as add creative elements like coloured gels. As this setup is a more refined version of the first one, everybody will have chance to shoot and keep image from this one.
For the last setup before lunch we’ll look at bringing that big bright natural light look into our small studio setup. With this lighting technique we create razor-sharp shadows in a small space using cost effective modifiers. This technique is easy to master in bigger studios with fancy modifiers but in small spaces where light can bounce around and ruin the look, we need to understand how to control the light after it’s left the modifier.
For the first setup in the afternoon we’ll look at how you can create your own DIY mottled backdrop like we see pictured here. They are very easy to make and cost very little to create. Plus they are made in such a way that they are easily transported to a location shoot without ruining them.
In this 4th lighting technique I’ll show you how to light this backdrop and model with only two lights. This setup utilises the ‘feathering’ technique to evenly light a large backdrop from edge to edge in a small space with only a single light. A very powerful and useful technique which I’ll set up and show you in detail.
For our fifth setup I’ll develop and expand on the previous technique so that we can all shoot this one. With this setup we explore how to separate light and shadow on the subject with multiple lights and how to control that with appropriate modifiers in tighter spaces.
For our final setup of the day we’ll look at one of my new favourite lighting techniques. The reason I’ve fallen in love with this setup recently is due to the utterly stunning range of shape and form this lighting creates on the subject. Look at the images below and you’ll see the amount of highlight and shadow range we have across the body. It’s this range of visual dimension in lighting that really makes the subject stand out in a shot. All of this is created in a small studio space using refined lighting techniques and light control over expensive modifiers and big studio spaces.
This PDF of notes includes all the lighting techniques and ideas discussed throughout the day as well as comprehensive lighting diagrams of all the lighting setups discussed and shot throughout the day. I know a lot of educators don’t include their notes with their workshops, but I want you to be watching and concentrating on what’s being taught, not scribbling your own notes for later.
I get asked for this at every workshop, so I thought this time around I would equip you with a selection of Lightroom presets for each of the 6 lighting setups we’ll be learning on the day. I’ve selected 3 of the best looks from each of the 6 setups resulting in 18 Lightroom presets for you to keep and use in your own work.
My new Big Studio Lighting in Small Spaces workshop will be held at Amersham Studios. I've hosted nearly all of my workshops at Amersham studios over the years as it's a perfect space to hold all day training events of this size. Amersham is on the London Tube network and provides easy links for a lot of my international attendees. Plus the studio manager also provides complimentary pick-ups and drop-offs at the local train station if you're arriving via public transport.
Amersham studios will also be providing us with lunch, coffee and snacks throughout the day too.
Also, if you're planning on traveling and staying over the night before, the studio owner has tons of useful info on the best places to stay locally too. Once you've signed up he can help you with any questions you might have.
For more details on Amersham studio and where it's located, check out the link below.
October 27th 2018 - SOLD OUT within two days!
December 1st 2018 - SOLD OUT within five days!
January 19th 2019 - SOLD OUT
This new workshop has been written by myself with the aim of teaching you to understand light and how to read it. I believe that it’s with this knowledge that we can then recreate any look we want by analysing lighting in some of our favourite images. With this knowledge you will not only have a firmer grasp of what looks ‘good’ with lighting but you’ll also have the skills and knowledge to implement that in almost any space, no matter how small that space might be. If you’re after a better understanding of lighting and also getting the skills to implement that understanding in smaller studio spaces like a hime studio, this is the workshop for you.
You’ll learn the core principles of light including how to read shape and form in an image, With this knowledge you’ll be better prepared to control your lighting in a range of spaces including on-location and in smaller home studios. I’ll cover 6 lighting setups and you will get plenty of time to photograph our model for the day during the 4 core setups. Plus, you’ll walk away with my 30+ page comprehensive PDF of notes and you’ll also receive 18 of my Lightroom Presets that were designed for the lighting taught at this workshop.
Every single part of this workshop is brand new, nothing has been shared online before, nor have I released a video containing any part of this workshop previously. If you’ve attended my previous workshops and learnt a lot, this one will be no different.
I strongly believe this course is for anybody who’s excited about learning more about studio lighting. I set everything up and you can choose to get as involved as much or as little as you like. I would however recommend that you're familiar with shooting with your camera in manual mode, but if you have some experience of off-camera flash too, that is preferred but not mandatory.
Pretty much any camera that can shoot in Manual mode will do and one that has a hot-shoe to trigger the lights. If you'd like to bring a selection of lenses then please do. A zoom lens that covers a range of at least 50mm-85mm will be fine for the entire day. If you have any 50mm, 85mm or 105mm primes then feel free to bring those too. I shoot with a Nikon camera so if you're a Nikon shooter, you're always welcome to use my lenses if you like. You can bring a notepad if you like but all attendees will receive a pdf of everything discussed on the day.
You can of course share any pictures you take of the model on your portfolio and on social media but you may not use any of those images for commercial gain. This basically means you can't sell the shots to stock agencies or get them published in magazines etc.
As with all of my workshops, I will put together a Facebook group after the event for all of the attendees on the day. This is a great place to share the shots you took on the day, connect with the other attendees and of course ask me any questions that you didn't ask on the day. This is also a great way to get feedback on any future shoots you may have using the skills learned at the workshop too. I take training very seriously so I'm happy to offer advice and feedback as you implement what you've learned from my workshops.