Creative Studio Techniques Workshop - Sunday afternoon, July 21st, from 2-7 PM
This workshop was a "Creative Studio Techniques" workshop, held on Sunday afternoon, July 21st, 2019. It was held at the Southlawn Studio in Rockville, MD (657 Southlawn Lane, Rockville, MD). This 5 hour workshop was somewhat different than my usual workshops, in that we primarily covered four different creative studio techniques for making special portrait and beauty images, using our gorgeous model Kelly. These four techniques and some comments on how they worked are below.
(1) Fog Effect - using a special dry ice fog machine and a dam around the model to contain the fog. Most of the equipment for this techniques was provided by Kenny Epps, and it worked beautifully! Below are two of my photos from this shoot.
(2) Raindrops on Window Effect - shooting through a transparent "window" with spray created drops on the window. I found that the trick for this technique was to focus on the actual raindrops, while the model is close enough to the back of the "window" to provide a good image. Two of these photos aare also below. (Window provided by David Stossel).
(3) Color Gel Effects - using color gels on lights for background and/or on the model (hi key and lo key). The color gels were used mostly on the slow shutter speed photos, to give some wonderful results. See several images below.
(4) Slow Shutter Blur Effects (using continuous lighting) - since model Kelly is also a ballet dancer, we photographed her as a dancer using (a) studio flash with rear curtain shutter, (b) blur movement using combined flash and continuous lighting, and (c) blur techniques using continuous lighting only. We were planning to do all of the above, but ended up only doing the (c) portion, using continuous LED lighting, I think that was because we were having so much fun doing that! Several of my images from this part of the workshop are also below.
Several of the participants commented after the workshop was over, that this was the best workshop they had ever been in! Obviously, we will be doing this workshop again in the future.
High Key - Low Key Portraiture Workshop - June 9th, 2019
2:58 PM, Monday. June 24th, 2019 - We had a great High Key-Low Key Workshop on June 9th. Model kelly was wonderful as usual, and we all got a lot of excellent images from the workshop. Below are a number of my shots.
You might be interested in learning how I achieved the two high key images as shown. Well, it started out as a mistake! When we switched to the high key lighting, the first photo I took was with my camera set on tungsten white balance, even though we were using a studio flash ystem (I had used the camera to take a few available light images without the flash shortly prior to swithing from low key to high key). I liked the "tungsten effect" so much that i wook quite a few more photos using that technique).
Let me know if you like that effect as well as I do!
Studio Fashion Photography- April 28th, 2019
4:50 AM, Monday, April 29th, 2019 - Wow! What a fabulous fashion workshop we just had! I won’t go into all of the problems that came up before we even started, including the scheduled dress designer backing out at the last minute, but thanks to our beautiful and wonderful models who brought their wardrobe, and to a very cooperative class member who was able to bring some of his wardrobe for models, and a few things I brought, we had I think the best fashion photo shoot that I have ever participated in!
It ended only 9 hours ago, but take a look at my first cut of photos from the class, shown below. A HUGE thank you to our wonderful models, Brenda and Kelly, and to all of the class members, who made it a joy to teach and shoot!
We had a really great "Photography of the Ballet" Workshop last Sunday, which included the use of color gels in our ballet images, and also the use of stroboscopic techniques (plus of course both classic and contemporary ballet images!). Some of my images from the ballet workshop are below, including "proof of concept" photos using two different stroboscopic techniques.
One strobe technique used a large monolight (a White Lightning 1800 ws), which I call a "fast strobe", and the second technique uses a small hand held strobe brought by regular workshop participant Ken Epps, which I call a "slow strobe". The fast strobe uses the very short exposure offered by rapid flashing of the large monolight, while the slow stobe uses an LED strobe effect that has a much longer effective shutter speed, probably in the range of 1/10th of a second, givng an interesting blur effect. My examples of both techniques are included below.
Also included are several images in which colored gels were used to give an interested effect to the images.
The above workshop was a great success, with all students getting a lot of excellent photos. A few on my photos from the workshop are below. First, I have a composite of three photos, showing our model and makeup artist Samantha at three different stages in her makeup: Before starting, as she came to the workshop; with limited makeup as in a "girl next door" look; and finally, with all of the glamour makeup on. Following that are two photos I took during the workshop. During the workshop, as instructor, I don't get the opportunity to take very many photos, so all of the students should have even better images than these. Too bad you missed it!
The Lighting Techniques for Portraiture workshop was very successful, and participants both learned more about portrait lighting as well as had the opportunity to apply those techniques to two very attractive models. They submitted a number of photos they took during the workshop, shown here, to give you some idea of what they did. Thanks to Kenny E, Kurt F, David T and David S for their photos, and to our beautiful models Janna and Jessica.
My next workshop is the Photography of the Ballet workshop, to be held on Sunday afternoon, October 14th. We have as our dancers the beautiful Brenda and Maya again. They are excellent dancers, and very photogenic as well. They will be bringing a different assortment of dance costumes this time, including the tutu, and I will have my wonderful swirly powder blue skirt! I think I am starting to get the hang of creative blur images with the dancers, and I am including one blur photo below from a previous workshop, along with a number of other photos of these two dancers. We are so fortunate to be able to get them both again, they are fantastic! (Note: for the blur photo, I used 1/10 second at f16 at an ISO of 500. No Lensbaby on this one, just the slow shutter speed; wonder what it would look like if I DID use a Lensbaby along with the slow shutter speed?)
The workshop will again be at the excellent Southlawn Studio, on Southlawn Lane in Rockville, and will be from 2 – 7 PM as usual. In addition to the studio flash, I will bring my continuous Quartz-Halogen lighting, for the blur photos. I may even be able to arrange for some LED lights to work with for the continuous lighting, which would allow use of a daylight white balance, instead of tungsten. We shall see about that.
News Flash! New concepts for this workshop - (1) we will have both dancers posing together for 1 hour during the workshop (4 hours with phtograpng the dancers, total); (2) we will be using dry ice fog to get some dramatic effects with the dancers; and (3) we will be using color gels and color fabric to add color to the dancers and the backgrounds.
So, get ready to sign up for this fun and creative workshop, and start thinking about what poses YOU will want to shoot! Several previous attendees have gotten images that have done extremely well in camera club competitions, including a “Photo of the Year” Award; maybe you will be next?
You can sign up with the PayPal link on my website at http://www.donbeckerphotography.com, under Upcoming Workshops. Or, if you prefer, email me and I will send you a personal PayPal invoice that you can use with your credit card to register and pay for the workshop. As usual, the cost is $125 for the 5 hour workshop.
I am excited to be doing the ballet workshop again! I always get a few really outstanding shots every time I do the workshop. I hope you will join me there!
The Lighting Techniques for Portraiture Workshop took place on September 9th. It was another successful portrait workshop, and I have posted several photos from that workshop below. I will try to get some of the other participants to provide some of their photos to add here as well. Jessica and Janna were excellent models, and everybody should have gotten some excellent photos, as well learning many portrait lighting techniques. I even got a photo I like a lot with a Lensbaby lens, with its controlled blur, on my first attempt! Take a look and see if that is something you would like to try. I will have both a Nikon mount Lensbaby and a Canon mount lensbaby at all of my future workshops, for you to try out if you would like. I will have my old Nikon D3 camera also, so anybody can use it with the Lensbaby lens to take some photos. Don’t forget to bring your own CF flash card if you want to take your images back home with you!
Below are three photos; a portrait photo of each model, plus the controlled blur Lensbaby photo.
A Few Participant Photos from the August Fashion Workshop
Three of the participants from the August 2018 Studio Fashion Workshop with Beverli Alford submitted photos they took at the workshop for this Blog entry. The participants were Kenny Epps, Dave Terao and Stephanie Banks. Here are their photos:
Studio Fashion Photography Workshop - August 12, 2018
The studio fashion workshop I co-taught with fashion photographer Beverli Alford was an exciting look into the photographic techniques used by many professional fashion photographers. It started out with the the exotic look of model Tatjana in a series of Haute Couture styles and looks. That was followed by model Serena with a selection of Lifestyle looks and techniques. Beverli also provided a handout describing the various fashion styles and techniques. This supplemented my handout containing a variety of lighting diagrams and suggestions and tips for showing your model at their very best. But, one thing stood out... it is the model (and the makeup!) who starts out by providing the look. It is up to the photographer to take that look and lighting it and photographing it to produce an image/images that tell the story that the client wants told. Photographs with IMPACT are needed, in order to make the viewer stop and take a good long look at the product being sold.
Below are four images of mine taken during the workshop, two of which have been processed to B&W. Monochrome is often used in fashion magazines and advertisements, both because B&W printing is much cheaper that color printing, and also because the image composition is much more dramatic in B&W than in color. The B&W images also have a retro type of look, that is often used in editorial type fashion.
This was an excellent experience for many of the participants, and they seemed to really enjoy the workshop!
Outdoor Portraiture Workshop - June 24,2018
Our June 24th Outdoor Portraiture Workshop was a great success! We had two excellent models, Ashley and Adria, and used the many photo opportunities in areas surrounding the outside of the studio (within walking distance on either side) plus a park not far away, as our "outside studio". We also did a few "windowlight portraits" using the open door of the studio. Fortunately the rain held off and it was not too hot or humid. Three of my photos of each model are below.
I think one of the most important concepts of this workshop was that you can find interesting background areas for your outdoor portraits virtually anywhere you are, you are only limited by your imagination. Plus, of course, the lighting. Whenever you have a very bright sunlight to contend with, all you have to do is find some share area or an overhanging porch or roof to help you. Then again, with bright sunlight you can just use a wide brimmed hat, like my portrait of Adria, below. The bright sun on the bright yellow sports car almost looks posterized!
Contact information for me at Don Becker Photography is as follows:
Address: 13115 Dauphine St.
Silver Spring, MD 20906
My workshops are held at Southlawn Studios, located at 657 Southlawn Lane, Rockville, MD 20852. Please note that I am at the Studio only during my workshops.
Please see the "Upcoming Workshops" section of this website to learn about photographic servics that I offer, or contact me with questions at the Email address or phone number above.