After feeling quite stuck with my photography, I decided to get out of my comfort zone, join The Camera Club (est. 1885) in London and start working in understanding what happens in a photography studio. The problem is that as someone who has never had access to studios, I was intimidated by the whole concept of lights, reflectors, backdrops, triggers, etc. I mean, I have always used found or continuous light to work with in the past (lamposts, candles, nigh lamp, light ring, the sun...). I think of myself as being quite resourceful with the things that are around me. "Always work within the limitations until you finally break free and have none!" That's what I always say! So, I joined the studio lighting pod workshop led by fellow photographer and friend, Dan Bachmann. The concept was brilliant! To get TCC members with questions about studio lighting to come together to experiment and problem-solve. Using each other as models, we work on some great concepts of light, shadows, and directing models. I have missed some sessions, but the few that I have attended were really fun! I realised that little by little, I am starting to lose my fear of working alone in the studio (I have recently spent around 4 hours working on a personal project...more of this in another post). I am still very new at this, but I am really enjoying breaking out of that confort zone of the observer and being more of a creative creator (yes, I know...that is a mouthfull to say!).
*The behind the scenes photos were taken by different members of the club, with the last three being mine (as are the rest of the photos in this blog post).
Studio Lighting Pod Vintage Light Session
So the first session that I attended was up my alley: a vintage lighting workshop. I am a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood photography. I love the work of glamour photographer Edward Steichen. All participants came out dressed up a little bit!
Studio Lighting Pod Portrait Session
In this session we tried our hand at using light to create two colour-backgrounds and use broken pieces of glass to create interesting effects for these portraits. It was also good to practice posing and creating emotional reactions of the fellow photographers-turned-models.
Studio Lighting Pod Optical Snoot
This was a great idea that our fellow photographer, Frederique Bellec, had about using an optical snoot for creating dramatic light. Unfortunately, the club did not have a pre-made optical snoot. We tried to work through the issue by putting together two reflectors close enough that a strong single straight light went through. We also tried to work with coloured gels (red and blue) to enhance the mood. We ended up using the spot light too. I gave up on the light triggers for that one, as I love using continuous light for something like that. Somehow, I think that through all this trial-and-error, I am finding my style in the studio.
The TCC Pods Final Thoughts
What I like about these pods is that it gives me the opportunity to explore photography tech issues by working with other photographers. We all pull our knowledge, resources, and ideas together. It is a safe space that is designed to let you work on a trial-and-error basis. It is ok to fail in this space and learn from all the mistakes. Next month we are going to investigate the cinematic world of Blade Runner (my suggestion)! I can't wait to see what we come up with! What I do know is that by participating in these pods, I feel like I have gained more confidence in the use of the studio and lights, enough to start booking alone time to work on my own projects, with my own ideas independently. Looking forward to continue this photography journey.
*If you would like to see the whole set of images from these and from upcoming pods, you can find them all here.