A night with Peter Collier and Penelope Beveridge

Tuesday found me at the Front studio in Redfern for a ACMPTrampoline event. These events are put on for photography students and emerging photographers (less then 3 years experience). The theme tonight was lighting, looking back on the night now there was very little on technical lighting set ups.

Below are the notes I took on the night, which I have typed out rather than posting my scaned notes below.

Ideas from Seeing the Light with Peter Collier

Peter Collier has been a self employed Fashion and Portrate phootrapher since 1990 in which time he has rached up a very impresive client list which inculdes; Tag Heuer, l'oreal, FHM magazine, and Sony BMG Music to name a few. He has been a nominated for AIPP photographer of the year 3 times. You can find his work on his web sitehttp://www.petercollie.com/.

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Peter discussing light at the end the night.

  • You have to be confident otherwise the situation will get away from you
  • Wow your clients with equipment with look and function. Even set up gear that you are not going to use to impress the client
  • Tools should not impede you from shooting
  • On location have two of every thing
  • Make sure your model/talent is the best you can afford in terms of skills and beauty. Be critical.
  • Make sure your client has signed off on the shoot before it starts, have a call sheet.
  • Photos involve light, how it falls on the subject gives mood, how your model moves in the light brings the shot alive
  • It is all about observation look at light all the time
  • Direct sun, use a Naked Light
  • Cloudy Day, use Diffusers
  • Window Light, use softbox
  • White wall, use a reflector
  • Add and subtract light
  • People with fairer skin work on shadows, for darker skin work on highlights
  • You can almost never go wrong with shadows
  • Reflections on eyes give away the lighting
  • Attitude is the difference between fashion and a portrait.
  • Find out what you like doing and what people like seeing
  • Confidence and connections is how this business works
  • If the model is not looking at the camera the view is more likely to linger on them and check out their clothing etc.
  • Lighting every one is different, no one correct way.
  • To get better eyes make sure the studio is not too dark so the pupil does not dialte too much 

Pre Shoot check list

  1. Subject
  2. Location
  3. Background
  4. Mood
  5. Realistic
  6. Visualise the night before. 

Lighting Food with Penelope Beveridge

Penelope has over 17 years experience in the comercial and adversing worlds She has had many high profile clientele, from companies such as Qantas and Coca Cola and individuals ranging from Prime Ministers to chefs. Her main forte is in food photogrpahy but she has also make many highly imaginative Fine art peices. To view her work please go to her web site http://www.penelopephotography.com/

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Penolope doing a live food shoot with her assistant.

  • To get a new head on bear just add some salt
  • Table tops really are actually tables
  • Changing the feel of food is lighting
lighting-diagram-1342181674.jpg

Lighting should be at 10 or 2 using a reflector to fill when necessary. She also used the feathered light from the softbox

  • Aerial shots means using the floor as a table top
  • Light from the camera is flat, food is better back lit, fill from the front.
  • Tilt shift lens are advantageous
  • Find out the story for the lighting
  • Chocolate is shot with blue
  • Afternoon tea soft light
  • When using colour find your hero and make sure it is seen first. It is all about the food not the props
  • Texture need back light, similar for shine
  • Flat food is hard to shot (eg pizza) Try to get in close and focus on the topping
  • Use fake ice as it sinks
  • If shooting in both portrait and landscape orientation set up takes twice as long as you need to recompose the table.
  • Don’t touch the side of plats, if you do use gloves, hold from the bottom
  • Turn off over head lighting it will show in bowls and spoons.
  • You must shoot on a tripod
  • Use smaller plates with smaller meals
  • Editorial maybe 5 dishes a day
  • Props give feel and scale
  • Start at f8
  • Always look through the camera keep the same angle
  • Gobos are there to block out hot spots
  • Crumpled cellophane looks good on the background (bokeh)
  • When shooting liquids pour on the table never carry it.
  • Table educate is important, utensils must be in the right place and used correctly
  • To have dark sides to bottles add black boards on the side
  • Adding shine is done by brushing on extra virgin Olive oil
  • To remove shine use Krylon, also if you want water droplets you can finely spray water on.