workshops

Comprehensive Photographic Art Nude Course - Shoot then Edit

During April, Lauren and I ran a half day Photographic Art Nude course at WEA college in Sydney. As a follow up to that course, and also a response to some enquiries, we have put together a course that will suit the most people so as to reduce costs. The cost of the WEA course was very cheap and affordable, but unfortunately we just can’t price it the same way. As far as content goes, we think this will work:

Day 1 - 4 hours (afternoon)

 Shooting at a selected location at La Perouse that has great and varied natural light.

  • Genre: Art Nude
  • Lighting: various natural light configurations are possible
  • Working with models and/or non models
  • Developing your creative voice 

Day 2 - 4 hours

Editing and style guidance at an indoor location. You will need a computer with one of these programs installed. We’ll have one computer available at the workshop with both programs installed for demo purposes. If you use a different editing program, let us know.

  •  Lightroom: using LR for cataloguing and editing
  •  Photoshop: editing
  •  Developing your creative voice and style (cont'd)

We’ve left this workshop content fairly open in order to address and accommodate the specific needs and desires of the individual participants. We would really like you to come away from this workshop having learned want you really needed to know. 

Cost

  • 2 people  $520 pp
  • 3 people $350 pp
  • 4 people or more : $300 pp

If you are interested, let us know what you think - the next thing we need to do is arrange two dates that will suit; please give us some days that work for you and we can take it from there. Let’s make this happen!

We will both be away early July for our exhibition in Melbourne, and after that, Lauren returns to live in New Zealand. This leaves us only a small window to arrange and run this course before then. 

PS: If the above course content doesn't suit your needs, we are available for private workshops but the cost will be more than quoted above. Let us know if you are interested in this option. 

One of the images from the WEA workshop

Lauren at the La Perouse location

Lauren and Waiton at La Perouse

Waiton and Lauren at La Perouse

Fluid and Gestural Portraiture - for both our Modelling and Photography Workshops

This is a new thing we’ve started teaching at the modelling workshops. It’s a challenging little genre for both model and photographer. This is really Loz’s thing - I just found an interesting, different and effective way to photograph it - which also extends the way I already shoot some of my portrait work into this more expressive avenue. 

Fluid & Gestural Portraiture.

Now part of our modelling and also photograpy workshops

It’s challenging from both sides but there is definitely a way to do it properly, a technique/method, or skill to it and it’s quite amazing at what emerges out of it. For example, I rarely see a circular-ness to my images - most are quite angular and ‘edgy’. That’s what I love about this one and many of the others we’ve created using this method.

Workshops

So from a learning perspective, this is now taught at the modelling workshops, and also at our photographic workshops. Personally, it has extended my own portraiture work into a new area and we’d love to share this in the photography workshops. For models who are wanting to get more fluid, dynamic and expressive, this is for you in our modelling workshops.

During our modelling workshops, you receive a set of professionally shot and edited images for your portfolio - it was amazing what I captured for the participants of our recent workshop during this part of the session.

So for both models and photographers...

Extend your Creative Direction

Extend your work and allow magic to happen; allow creativity to happen spontaneously. If you’re stuck in a creative rut, and can’t seem to find a new path for your work then you need to really...(worksop content goes here ☺️), then wait, and see what emerges.

Contact either Loz or myself for dates of the next courses - modelling and photographic.

Contact

Loz Lightyear: Instagram | Email: madetomodel2010@live.com
Mike Stacey: Instagram | Email: info@mikestacey.com

Photography - The Difficult Art

A photograph is technically a literal interpretation of what's in front of the lens. With all other art forms, there is a large component of the artist in the final work, due to the nature of the medium. Think about sculpture for instance. With photography this is much, much harder to do, simply because of the realist nature of the medium.

If I'm a painter, I can make a ton of choices in terms of how I portray my chosen subject matter. Brush type, paint type, specific colour palette, abstraction or not, etc. All these choices, and the way that I paint, become a rich part of the final work which is heavily imbued with my own artistic skill and vision. 

With a camera, when I press the shutter, the image that was in front of the lens is transferred without any intervention on my behalf, through to the film (let's stick with film, not sensors). That's what I end up with, a literal interpretation of reality. It's much harder for me to insert some of myself, and my own vision, into that image, than if I were a painter or sculptor. 

So this is the challenge and this is the one big area that separates photographers out. For good or bad, whatever, it is one of the the things that creates categories inside photography. 

Many photographers find it hard to realise what their own style is. Their efforts often go into the visual side of things - how the picture will look in terms of colour or a particular editing style. But everyone else has already done that. Pretty much every different type of look you can think of  has already been done. So how do you create work that has artistic value and also reflects who you are as an individual and an artist?

Coming from an analytical background of mathematics and engineering, that question was very hard for me to find any answer for, for many years! I still don't profess to have concrete answers but I have found ways of creating work that has 'me' in it - as far as I'm concerned anyway.

Really, this is the defining point for many photographers - to make the move away from the mainstream of their particular genre and start moving in their own direction. It's risky. Your following of regular viewers may not like you're new vision. This happened years ago when I switched from arty landscape and architectural LF work to portraiture. I lost virtually ALL of my followers - this was pre-Facebook, pre-Instagram - most of those followers were on Flickr and some on Tumblr and they just didn't like portraiture, period - or the fact that I wasn't using a LF camera anymore :) Silly business really. They couldn't see the continuous thread between that previous work and the new work. But there definitely was one.

At the time I made that transition between genres, I was asked to give a talk and presentation to a local Blue Mountains camera club. That was based on this topic of how to invest yourself in your work and create something of artistic value.

The guts of that presentation hinged around human emotion. For me, the key was finding topics and subjects that moved me in some way and created some level of emotion inside me. Whether it's awe, anger, amazement, rebellion whatever - there had to be a strong internal emotional response - or the work I produced would always lack depth and artistic value. The visual side of things is important but it's secondary to this. I had to have something to say with the work. Sounds simple but it took me ages to realise this - I kept looking toward the technical and visual side of things - new film, new camera, new lens, new technique blah, it's nothing, absolutely nothing. The development of the visual side will follow and develop of it's own accord if the emotional side is developed first - this is strictly right brain. And if you have a background like mine, there ain't no right brain in there.

Muse: Anoush Anou
Portraits from the Edge

Custom Portraiture Workshop

I'd worked with Damo once before when I helped him out with a shoot that he did with Anne Duffy. We had a great and rewarding afternoon that day - read about
it back here
. Damo was keen to further explore his portrait photography and obtain something a little deeper and more natural than what he'd been getting.

So this was essentially and 'Emotive Portraiture Workshop' - these are custom designed (and usually one on one) to suit the Client as they are very specific in order to tick off all the outcomes for each individual person. Damo's a great photographer. I asked to see his images from the day out with Anne. I looked at them and asked, "what can I teach you? You've done what you wanted to do right there". The images he showed me were excellent, they had all the qualities of great portraits, they captured presence, poise, beauty and personality aspects of Anne that only a stills camera in skilled hands can capture. His answer was "yes but I know Anne and she knows me, we have a great rapport so it's easy". Essentially he wanted to be able to do what he did with Anne - with any model. One of the key statements he made to me during my questions prior to working out the content of the workshop was, "my photos tend to end up looking like model posing 101".

So I engaged Flavia as the model for this. Flavia has an incredibly natural presence in front of the camera and doesn't go into auto pilot as far as posing goes. She moves and emotes according to what you want to do. But you have to communicate and connect with her so she knows what is required of course. In the end, a photoshoot is in the hands of the photographer - so there are decisions to make and there is control required. That sounds heavy, I hate directing and my style of directing is more like not directing at all!

So we would shoot near Flavia's place on the Northern beaches of Sydney. Just before the workshop I quickly scoped a place I went to years back to shoot seascapes but it was blowing a gale and showers were coming through. Not on. The other side of the headland looked OK and was out of the wind a bit.

So we met at Flavia's flat, got acquainted, had a chat, then headed down to the location. Weather was not good, but at least it had atmosphere. We shot for about an hour here doing a few varied things (for content detail you'll have to do a workshop!). Unfortunately, due to the weather, we couldn’t continue shooting outside and drove back to Flavia's flat to shoot inside. This was very impromptu and wasn't really what I'd planned for. The break in the session meant a loss of continuity to what we were doing. The up side was that we got to shoot inside and outside for variation.

Here's a couple of sneaky shots I got in whilst setting things up.

Shooting indoors, for me, is a very different workflow. Nearly all the emotive
portrait work I've done that I wanted to use as the basis for this workshop has
been done outdoors - with the wind and open space being primary components.

The variety though and the challenge that brings with it was good. We had to adapt on the spot, so important to be able to do that. Damo did get some great shots and I'll post them when I get them.

'Walkabout' Portraiture/Lighting Workshop

Greg had contacted me after having spoken with Peter Lee, who had done a worskhop with me last year. Greg was disatisfied with the pictures he was taking and was finding it hard to see a way forward. He was obviously an experienced photographer and his images were great in my opinion, but he wanted to move ahead so we put together a 3 hour workshop that would help him move forward. I'm sure Greg won't mind me saying, as it's relevant to the design of the workshop, is that his previous work was very static and lacking life.

I decided on a "walkabout" workshop where we would walk the streets of the Sydney CBD, via some spots I had previously shot some fashion editorial stuff - with model Scarlette Beth (Shan). I'd worked with Shan before and she's an excellent model, especially for this kind of shooting.

The various kinds of lighting you can find in Sydney encompass just about everything you could think of - so being able to see and recognise a particular type of light, then quickly set up a shot, including positioning the model etc. would provide a good variety of shots and knowledge for Greg. Also it's challenging to work on your feet that way and it keeps things form getting static - there WILL be life in the pictures when you work this way so hopefully this would help Greg shift from static posed studio shots in static light into a more dynamic way of working and seeing pictures.

I met Greg at a Cafe off Martin Place and we talked for about an hour. This allows me to further learn what Greg wanted out of the workshop (I do a simple questionnaire before hand of course) and also to answer any and all questions he might have.

Greg soaked up the experience and the information like a sponge. We met Shan in Martin Place, and she looked absolutely stunning, wearing all black. I'd asked her for a black sleek look which would go with the streets and alleyways of the CBD perfectly. After we met Shan, we started shooting right away - beside the columns that run around the Sydney Post Office. Moving around the columns allowed a few challenging lighting conditions from back light to reflected light.

Photo: Greg Doyle

I normally set up the shot, position the model in the right place with the light etc. take a few shots and then let the workshop participant go. Greg was off, with his beautiful digital Leica and I could see he was getting awesome shots right away.

Photo: Greg Doyle

Next we strolled down toward Angel Arcade and some other alley-ways near where the old tank stream used to run. The light in those alleyways in really nice reflected light, mainly from the windows of large buildings. There's also some good bands of direct light and the street scape provides great compositional opportunities.

We even ran into a shop/cafe and fired off a few shots through the window with Shan inside.

Since the workshop there's been no stopping Greg. He's booked and shot a handful of models with excellent results. Check out his work:

Greg Doyle
Instagram: @black_rabbit_images
Website blackrabbitimages.com

While your browsing, check out Shan's beautiful portfolio too:
Instagram: @scarlettebeth

Here are some of Greg's excellent captures from the day: