A few weeks ago I was kindly invited along to Brownlow House by fellow photographer and friend, Michael Carbery.

What a great location this is, and certainly something I will be looking into using potentially as a workshop location.

Thanks to Charlotte and Isadora who modelled on what was a bright but bitterly cold winters day.

The first time in a new location is always a little daunting, especially when surrounded by such grandeur in Brownlow House. Virtually everywhere I looked within the house and externally there was a great picture opportunity. Sadly I hadn’t as much time on the day as I would have liked, and I’m sure had there have been more time we could have gone on for hours with endless locations to explore.

Here’s some photos from the day and a brief explanation behind them.

This was my starting point. A large bay type window with some strong backlighting coming through from outside. I balanced this with an off-camera flash for fill light from the front through a large soft box.


This was my second setup and in the opposite end of the same room. Here I used a large reflector as fill instead of flash and asked model, Charlotte to look out through the window to help light her face as much as possible.


Michael had a friend who owned this Porsche and he was kind enough to bring it to Brownlow House for a short time. The side of the house was the best location as it was free from parked cars, and also the strong sunlight was coming from the left as can be seen by the shadows on the lawn from the steps. It acted as a great hair light and helped light the car. A bare hard light speed light was used from camera right to light Charlotte. This was f11 and beyond so the speed light was set to full power.


This is Isadora who, along with Charlotte modelled on the day. This was on our way back in from photographing the car. I quite liked the dappled light in this small space located between two car parks. It took some careful positioning of Isadora to place her face out of the dappled light and render even lighting on her face, albeit very dull. For that reason a fill flash was added through an off-camera speed light through a soft box.


Literally a few steps on from the previous location and I wanted to capture something with the blue sky against the backdrop of the house. This had to be photographed from a lower than normal position due to trying to hide as best as possible a car park full of cars behind. An off-camera fill flash was used here through a large soft box.


Here is a before and after flash for the image above.


This is directly opposite the previous location just across a small footpath. The backlight here was full on! So much so that it was flaring down the lens. An off-camera speed light through a soft box was used as a light on Isadora. Its always difficult to balance flash into such strong backlight, and composition was further complicated by various lamp posts!


Back indoors and this is one of my personal favourites of the day. I don’t think this door leading to this small corridor is normally open, but with workmen around it was open so I took full opportunity 🙂 The only light source here is through the window on the right. Exposing for the highlights produced a low-key image and it still retained details in the shadows.


From low-key to something more high-key. This was a reasonably well lit stairwell with bright walls, lit from a large glass atrium in the roof above. No reflectors or flash. The bright walls were doing a great job at creating nice even light.


This was the atrium in the roof lighting the stairwell. Here I placed Charlotte on the top level stair landing and placed a bare hard speed light high on a stand on the landing on the half level below. I exposed for the light through the atrium which resulted in needing the bare speed light at full power to light Charlotte.



This was a great few hours photography using a mix of natural light and off-camera flash. Brownlow House is about one of the best locations I’ve been in and offers endless perfect picture opportunities.

If you are interested in attending one of these ‘Manor House’ type workshop days then please get in touch here.



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