Business isn’t just about making money, it is about building a community. Many people help you along the way and it is your duty to give something back. It may not be of monetary value but a simple bit of your time goes a long way. Our CEO has had a lot of help from others which has made him who he is today and to give back he regularly visits camera clubs to judge competitions giving constructive criticism for members to learn and improve and to delivery various lectures and demonstrations to teach them new skills and to inspire their future projects (on average 33 times per year).

Last night the live Light, Shoot, Retouch session was held at Canterbury Photographic Society, the title of the evening was Artificial & Mixed Lighting. During the evening Darren demonstrated different types of light, lighting modifiers and how to use them to different effects. Although there was lots of flashy gear around (No pun intended… honest) cheaper alternatives were shown to get a similar effect.

The first set was to demonstrate how you can use ambient light and flash together, the result is a slightly darker background and brighter subject. Just a cheap flashgun of around £45 was used for this image, you can see the audience in the background.

Mixed Lighting Lecture

The second set became a bit more high tech using studio lighting, a softbox and a beauty dish. The two light set ip is very simple and for those entering studio photography is very affordable. Again a similar set up can be created using cheaper equipment, so is within reach of an enthusiastic hobbyist. This is typically the lighting set up that Darren uses when we visit offices to carry out headshots.

Headshot photographer in Maidstone

It creates such a beautiful light as the light wraps around the cheekbones and across the shoulder blades to the collar bone. Retouching of imagery has changed a lot in the last few years, now we try to keep things as natural as possible removing only small spots and blemishes and correcting any difference in skin tone due to make up use. You can see the before and after shot below:

Before and After Portrait

We have gone past the heavy porcelain skin, Asiana magazine type look and now we make sure that texture of the skin still exists, next up is a crop at 100% so you can see the retention of skin detail.

100% Skin Texture

The third and final set of the evening was to illustrate how you can take just one light and no background paper to create a dark, contrasty studio looking image. Darren used a single beauty dish for this but once again a cheap flashgun could be used instead.

Low-key Portrait Kent

The session was finished by demonstrating a few techniques on how to retouch the images using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. I hope you enjoyed these images and if you are interested in booking a talk for your club check out what is on offer here:

Club Judging and Lectures

With thanks to Canterbury Photographic Society and Milly for modelling for the evening.