The Studio Lighting Portrait class is one of our newest editions to the ApCad lineup. It's also our most popular portrait class on the schedule. Working with studio lighting a intimidating to many begging portrait photographers. Why are there so many lights? What are they used for? What the heck is a Pocket Wizard? These are all questions that would get answered throughout the full schedule.
Ajay and I met up with our students in our Aperture Academy Studio, in San Jose, California. Also referred to as Silicon Valley. The area is a hot bed for technology and innovation.
Once Myself and Ajay introduced ourselves, we heard from each individual student. Their names, where they live, and a bit about there background in photography. After we were all quite acquainted, Ajay went over the Key Terms in regards to a studio setup, and what each light brings to the table, or should I say, brings to the model. He covered Key lighting terms, such as, Rim Light, Feathering, and Key light. There were some fantastic examples of different lighting options and they way it will look on the subject, or model.
After the lighting presentation, we had the students help us set up the remaining lights. This way they can get a feel for the equipment and what it takes to set it up. The students also got to see first hand how to trouble shoot, when equipment is malfunctioning, and how to trouble shoot and also work with what you have on hand.
Once the lighting was set, our models were ready to step into the light. Mariana helped us out first, in front of our white, high key background. After several test shots, and light repositioning, Ajay had the setting down, and the results were beautiful. We assisted the students and made sure everyone was set up with their own remote flash trigger, or pocket wizard.
Before we really go into the in depth shooting, we had the students take a quick lunch break, as it was already 12:30. Time sure does fly when you're having fun.
After break, we were back at it. Now that the camera settings were dialed, the focus turned to directing and posing the model. The students were really getting into it and having a lot of fun, whilst capturing beautiful images.
We did have 2 models and therefore 2 different backdrops. Our second backdrop was a grey color. Here we used only one light source so the results were dramatic and lovely. Pulling our model away from the backdrop and only utilizing one light source, set up to the side, made the backdrop appear almost black. Very different results from the white backdrop, so it was nice to offer the stark contrasts to the students.
After a couple hours of shooting, i set up the computer workstations, so we could have a chance to process and image or two from class. I walked the students through my high level processing in Adobe Lightroom. After which, Ajay demonstrated his portrait workflow in Photoshop CS6.
It seemed like class had just started, yet it was already coming to an end. Ajay and I had a fantastic time with all of our aspiring portrait photographers.
Until Next time,
Thank you from Ajay, Ellie and the rest of the Aperture Academy Team!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.