Lake Location Workshops


This was an evening workshop I initially arranged for early July and had a massive interest in from photographers who wished to attend. So much so that I quickly arranged a second evening for the overflow who wished to attend. What I couldn’t bank on however was that we really cant depend on any decent summer weather in this country. After a few last minute postponements due to weather, we eventually got both workshops to take place. The first evening with Hannah modelling was definitely the poorer weather, yet ironically it provided better light than the second evening when Gemma modelled. We were faced with quite flat light on the second evening.

Thanks to all the photographers who attended both workshops, and also a big thanks to models, Hannah and Gemma who were both literally shivering with cold by the finish time.

As you will see by the photos I deliberately set out to recreate many similar pictures on the second evening that I did on the first one. The light was completely different and I wanted to see how the pictures would vary as a result.

Here’s a selection from both evenings starting with the first evening with Hannah modelling.

This was our starting point. As you can see it was quite an overcast evening, and constantly threatened to rain. Here the ambient light was set and an off-camera flash added from front camera right. Every photographer got their turn to photograph this, each setting their ambient light first, then adding flash.




This was our next location. There was some nice backlight from the sun coming through between the large trees in the background. Here the ambient light was carefully exposed for to exploit the backlight and an off-camera flash through a large softbox was used from front camera right.

Here’s a before and after flash.



D3S_2374We then moved on a short distance around the lake to this location. This was up quite a steep bank and allowed the lake to be visible behind. This was quite a dense woodland area so with heavy tree cover there really wasnt much ambient light. As the off-camera flash was very directional from front right it needed as much ambient light as possible to have good detail in the unlit (by flash) side.


D3S_2408I wanted to show the use of two off-camera flashes at some point during the evening, so this was a good location to do it. A large softbox was used from camera right, with a second unmodified flash from directly behind Hannah. This backlit flash provided a subtle light to separate Hannah’s hat from the dark background.


D3S_2423We now had moved around to the far side of the lake and I just happened to see this clear blue patch of sky which had opened up. Fortuitously there happened to be an extremely steep bank which Hannah was happy enough to scramble up onto, and this then automatically created a low composition for all the photographers to easily frame Hannah with the sky behind. The cows behind were keen to participate, although we had a photographer attending who kept referring to them as sheep 🙂


D3S_2432This was our final setup of the evening and it was on the edge of darkness at this stage. The sky still produced some great colour though, which was exploited by stepping down the ambient light exposure and then flash was added from camera left.


Second Evening – Gemma Modelling

D3S_2698Our starting point was the exact same position as the week previously with Hannah, yet the light was completely different. We had a lot more sky detail this time, but less light.


D3S_2707While moving to our second location we stopped here and did this unplanned setup. I’m glad we did.

Here’s a before and after flash version.



D3S_2729This was our next location. Unlike the week previously, we had absolutely no backlight coming through, so we created a backlight using a second flash.



D3S_2735From there we moved to the elevated bank we’d also used the week before. Again because of the light, it created an entirely different result. A softbox off-camera to camera right was used here.


D3S_2775A couple of natural light to finish the blog on. While these were set up for off-camera flash, I cranked the ISO right up to a whopping 6400 for these. This is also captured from a higher composition than I would like and would normally use, but this is due to the photographers who were using off-camera flash occupying prime composition place.

I included this only to show just how little light in real terms there was around at this stage in the evening.


D3S_2785Another ISO6400 natural light one to finish on.


I hope to be holding another one of these lake location evening workshops quite soon over the next two weeks while there is still sufficient evening light. If you would be interested in attending please let me know by clicking here.

The cost for the evening is only £40 with a maximum number of just 6 photographers so everyone can have time to photograph our model in each setup throughout the evening.







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