Winter Workshops #1 – Dark & Moody

Well Winter is here; the cold, grey, windy, drizzly days in Melbourne are upon us. Yes, I could rug up and go out chasing waterfalls and such, and I probably will; but it also means it’s time to run my Winter Workshops. I have advertised three so far, and all are fully booked, granted not overly hard when I limit them to six people each. I will run more and am currently looking at a larger studio space (but more on that later). I am also running themes for each of these workshops to keep it all a little more tightly controlled; and………….they are only for three hours, not six – too exhausting! 🙂

Workshop #1 is Dark and Moody Fruit & Veg

I had three workstations set up, and I split my students into groups of two, very manageable. They get to spend at least 30 minutes at each workstation and then we change them all up, so they get to shoot approx 6 settings each.

An Introduction to Light Sculpting

As everyone in this group attended one of my Beginners Classes last year, I decided to teach some more advanced techniques, so we spent the first hour introducing them to the intricacies of Light Sculpting or Light Painting for Still Life. Sitting in the dark with my light wand, we did two set ups to show the difference between flat matte and colour and shiny metal objects.

Table 1 – Dark Backdrop, Natural Light

So this first table is actually old fence palings still held together (just) on the floor in front of the window, with diffused and quite poor afternoon light. Just enough of a challenge. This table features some country charm, citrus and pears and a little autumn colour.


Table 2 – Dark, Dark, Dark

This is probably the easiest table, but looks the hardest. My small, old works bench with a blackboard backdrop to keep out all the light, in the darkest spot on the studio (with the lights off), using just one artificial light source, with a snoot – to keep the light pin point precise. The trick is to underexpose each shot by st least 1/3. This is the Berry table, it was also be a bit of an experimental table for some.

Table 3 – Vintage

This was actually the largest work area, as we switched between a shabby chic table table with old vintage elements, coal scuttle, enamel ware, linens etc. And then brought out the perspex to really have some fun with light painting and reflections.

We then finished off with trying to capture dusting icing sugar over a chocolate cake, much harder than it looks………..oh and then finished off by eating the cake!!

Even though we kept things fairly simple this was a more advanced class than the ones I taught last year. Concentrating placement, exposures and shooting angles; which works best on tall objects Vs flat objects, which is better for various light conditions, flat lay or 90°  or 45° or even 20°.  WHAT is the hero of a setting?

What a blast, so much fun sitting in the dark with six friends playing with light wands and random bits of lighting.

~ Julz