Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nikon Workshop Cold Washup

Sunday would seem to be a good day to visit the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle - if the buffet and cocktail bar are anything to go by. If they are, don't go by them -  sit down and stay.

All the above applied particularly last weekend when Camera Electronic and Nikon Australia held the 2012 Nikon Workshop. In addition to the plain old CE staff we had Christian Blanchard, Julie Kimpton, Sarah Warwick, and a professional photographic model - Courtney - to entertain and instruct the participants.

Christian is a very successful fashion photographer in both still and video. He explained his lighting systems, both fixed studio and portable flash, detailed his workflow, and let us into some of his vision for depicting models and the products they are selling. I have often wondered if this is a more complex thing than first appears - Christian seems to have a good handle on it and makes good use of professional retouching to emphasize and simplify.

He certainly seems to be resourceful - coping with on-site lighting surprises - like blown power boards - or costumes that fall to bits while the shoot is going on. He also seems to have the wisdom to approach the job with a clear vision of what it is about the face, figure, or garments that will prove most attractive. That clear vision means he actually achieves what he sets out to do. Would that we all might do so....

Julie and Sarah always bring good stuff for the participants to play with - this year there were the new D4, D800, and D800e bodies to play with plus a number of new lenses. People were able to see what happens when the new wireless transmitters are connected to the cameras and computers - very convenient. Of course, having the new SB 910 speed light to play with helped as well - if you can't get ProFoto lights for your studio, get good speed lights!

Of course, if you do have enough space in your studio for the big Profoto reflectors, you move into a whole new world of soft lighting. It is hard to describe the way that light from these wraps around the contours of a face without dominating any one plane. The ease of control and level of precision of the Profoto floor packs and heads also makes these sort of sessions a lot easier on all concerned. When you are doing a number of shots in sequence, Profoto makes sure that each pulse has the same balance and intensity - you can truly compare the results on a light table presentation and know which you want.

Did I mention the lunch? Full Esplanade buffet table. Oh My Goodness, the desserts. I'm surprised that I stayed awake in the afternoon.

The participants had a number of opportunities to try out the Nikon equipment and some of the ideas that Christian had mentioned - they worked with three studio setups  - models were Courtney, Sarah, and our own Chris Doudakis. I can recommend the first two....and then we had a wander to the markets and the Ferris wheel in the park. Pity the rain came down, but that is what rain does, and we could all dive back into the Esplanade for afternoon tea.

End of the day saw a final explanation of the retouching and restructuring side of the business by Christian and Saul and Howard's famous prize giveaway half hour. I think everyone left with a feeling that the day had been very well spent.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Leon Shaffer said...

Thanks to all involved. Abundance of knowledge, Nikon gear and food made for an enjoyable day. A few pics to share http://www.leonshaffer.com/blog/?p=389

May 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM  

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Nikon Workshop Cold Washup

Sunday would seem to be a good day to visit the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle - if the buffet and cocktail bar are anything to go by. If they are, don't go by them -  sit down and stay.

All the above applied particularly last weekend when Camera Electronic and Nikon Australia held the 2012 Nikon Workshop. In addition to the plain old CE staff we had Christian Blanchard, Julie Kimpton, Sarah Warwick, and a professional photographic model - Courtney - to entertain and instruct the participants.

Christian is a very successful fashion photographer in both still and video. He explained his lighting systems, both fixed studio and portable flash, detailed his workflow, and let us into some of his vision for depicting models and the products they are selling. I have often wondered if this is a more complex thing than first appears - Christian seems to have a good handle on it and makes good use of professional retouching to emphasize and simplify.

He certainly seems to be resourceful - coping with on-site lighting surprises - like blown power boards - or costumes that fall to bits while the shoot is going on. He also seems to have the wisdom to approach the job with a clear vision of what it is about the face, figure, or garments that will prove most attractive. That clear vision means he actually achieves what he sets out to do. Would that we all might do so....

Julie and Sarah always bring good stuff for the participants to play with - this year there were the new D4, D800, and D800e bodies to play with plus a number of new lenses. People were able to see what happens when the new wireless transmitters are connected to the cameras and computers - very convenient. Of course, having the new SB 910 speed light to play with helped as well - if you can't get ProFoto lights for your studio, get good speed lights!

Of course, if you do have enough space in your studio for the big Profoto reflectors, you move into a whole new world of soft lighting. It is hard to describe the way that light from these wraps around the contours of a face without dominating any one plane. The ease of control and level of precision of the Profoto floor packs and heads also makes these sort of sessions a lot easier on all concerned. When you are doing a number of shots in sequence, Profoto makes sure that each pulse has the same balance and intensity - you can truly compare the results on a light table presentation and know which you want.

Did I mention the lunch? Full Esplanade buffet table. Oh My Goodness, the desserts. I'm surprised that I stayed awake in the afternoon.

The participants had a number of opportunities to try out the Nikon equipment and some of the ideas that Christian had mentioned - they worked with three studio setups  - models were Courtney, Sarah, and our own Chris Doudakis. I can recommend the first two....and then we had a wander to the markets and the Ferris wheel in the park. Pity the rain came down, but that is what rain does, and we could all dive back into the Esplanade for afternoon tea.

End of the day saw a final explanation of the retouching and restructuring side of the business by Christian and Saul and Howard's famous prize giveaway half hour. I think everyone left with a feeling that the day had been very well spent.

Labels: ,