Live life, love life, on this autumn portrait lighting workshop in Tuscany, Italy.
By Damien Lovegrove
The spectacular scene from the terrace of our villa near Volterra.
We first stayed at our villa in 2016 and were instantly wowed by the wonderful views of the rolling hills. We had such a truly fabulous experience that I knew we would return and we secured the villa exclusively for 4 nights in the Autumn of 2017. After another unforgettable experience last year, we have made the decision to return for another 4 nights in September this year. The decor is elegantly stylish and beautifully appointed with all modern features including air conditioning. There is a kitchen area and an honesty bar. Our chefs will come to the villa to cook for us each day.
For this upcoming photographic holiday we will fly in top model Terez Kocova from the Czech Republic. Terez modelled for us earlier this year for a workshop in Prague. She is kind, patient, thoroughly professional and speaks excellent English. She is the perfect model for our 2018 Tuscan experience.
All of the following the shots were taken by Damien Lovegrove on previous lighting workshops in Tuscany and Spain. Enjoy…
The light in Tuscany is wonderfully inspiring for artists and photographers alike. Often crisp with a high contrast and occasionally a bright hazy sun, it reveals the soft delicate tones of the grasslands and olive groves. Contrast control is the key to working within your camera’s dynamic range.
A low viewpoint and an alternative lighting direction make the shot on the left a winner. I love the flutter of Mischkah’s dress in the shot on the right.
With a maximum of six attendees and myself as the tutor, the group can access the most wonderful unexpected locations like this basement of an abandoned villa. This big, dimly lit room once housed cattle in the winter months and it makes a great location for natural light photographs. A tripod or monopod is vital in locations like this. I’ll be providing a couple of lightweight Godox AD200 flash units and a softbox with grid to deliver off camera lighting with precise control. We will explore HSS and I will provide dedicated triggers for whatever make of camera you are using. There will be at least three of us shooting with Fujifilm X and GFX so if that’s what you shoot you will be in good company. 😉 The Godox flash system is currently the best there is for Fujifilm and it is fully cross brand capable.
Empty farm buildings make great learning spaces. The contrast can be high so we may well be using off camera flash to fine tune the contrast in our portraits.
Light, shade, composition and the moment are key elements in a Lovegrove style portrait. The shooting sessions on location are magical, driven by a passion for excellence. Bringing all the elements together in one frame is electric. I love it when it all comes together nicely.
If English is not your first language you will not be alone and you have nothing to fear. I speak clearly and precisely. My workshops attract a truly international guest list.
” I did this workshop with Damien Lovegrove last year and loved every minute of it! ” Lisa White
We will spend one day shooting in the rustic back streets and alleyways of the nearby hilltop town of Volterra. We will be concentrating on minimal colour palettes and controlling contrast precisely.
My aim during this three day, four night event is to empower you with the skills and knowledge needed to take full control of flash, mixing it with the delicate ambient light of dark interiors, shaded side streets or bright sunlight. We will be shooting with natural light too. One skill needed in portrait photography is to be able to find and see great light. Once we understand the lighting designs we love in the real world we can recreate them at our leisure using simple, repeatable lighting setups. I often find myself being led by light and I’ll share my vision with the group in real time.
I’m not scared to use white as a component of the shot. I’ll show you how to set up your camera to show you exactly what detail you are capturing in the highlights and the shadows.
Dappled light and beautifully controlled bokeh are picture opportunities we will look out for as we meander around Volterra. We will be moving with the sun throughout the day.
A splash of flash livens up shady spots in Volterra’s back alleys
A typical Tuscan villa seen from the road to the farmhouse.
I often introduce diffusion into my pictures in a controlled way. It’s all done in-camera. I’m a bit old school like that. I used to shoot transparencies and everything had to be spot on in camera. I’ll be sharing my kit list with the group prior to the trip. I’ll be happy to bring any extra kit I have as required for guests to borrow or try.
Come and have fun shooting alongside me in Italy. It will be exhilarating and a great learning experience. There will be many ‘wow’ moments to savour as lifetime memories.
Abandoned villas and farm buildings provide excellent shoot locations. I check them out first to ensure we are working in a safe part of the building. Access to these tucked away locations like the one above is often a short walk down a winding track.
Simple elegance with balance, poise and shape are key ingredients of a successful pose.
Where there is eye contact in the shot the rapport should grab attention.
The rolling hills of Tuscany seen en-route from our villa to the abandoned villa location of day two.
We will shoot both high key and low key portraits in these rustic locations.
A sunflower field ready for harvest made a beautiful stop off point for a few frames. Shooting into the light gave Mischkah a wonderful rim light.
Are you going to join us on this fabulous life experience workshop? Non shooting partners are welcome to join us at a greatly reduced rate. See this page for more information and please feel free to ask any questions you may have with our team. Call Blaise or Laura on +44 (0)1275 853204.