Last night was my first time in a lighting studio. I have always wanted to learn the ropes of studio lighting so I was psyched when I saw Brian Larter from Aperture Studios held a beginner's lighting course. Creative possibilities abound when you take control of the lighting. But first I need to learn the basics. There is alot to learn about flash equipment - the set-up, position and exposure is different than regular shooting but similar enough if you know the basics of your 'stops'. I got a two hour crash course and was able to fire off a few rounds using PocketWizard's wireless remote system, AlienBees strobes and several large softboxes. Brian's girlfriend Karen, a professional model, was a good sport and sat in while Brian demonstrated various lighting positions for the class.
It was fun. My favourite lighting set-up was Brian's variation on the contre-jour, which positions the flash behind the model's head, shooting directly into the camera. Brian bounced light back into Karen's face using a reflector positioned to my left. Although the highlights easily burn out and focussing into light is difficult the effect shows attitude - a hint of rock and roll, which I like. It is interesting how you can express mood and add in your own style preferences through subtle variations in lighting placement. I can see me getting addicted to lighting.