The sun was out and we had a full workshop for the Urban Portraits in Reading. The workshop meeting and starting point was Jessops, the brand new camera store located in the Oracle Shopping Centre with a dedicated training room for everyone’s introductions.

Once everybody had arrived we headed off into the heart of Reading, down our first back street with some amazing and colourful doors to use as a backdrop. This is where I would demonstrate speedlights and a Westcott small octabox otherwise known as a mobile beauty dish.

We mounted this on a monopod light stand and used a Cactus speedlight, as it has a built in trigger and is very light, keeping kit down to a minimum on the streets. This shot was a bright high key fashion style with converging lines leading the subject from the centre of the frame to the top.

Next we made our way over to the newly refurbished train station for its artistic look, and the use of the steps showing how we underexpose an image for a more dramatic lighting shot where we control the lighting and mood. We used the Profoto B2 kit for this with the 20 degree grid.

The Profoto B2 kit is very portable and gives us the power to overpower the sun with one head being equivalent to 4 speedlights, with the portability it means we can get the shot and move on to the next location with speed.

As always with my workshops when it comes down to lunch I pick out the best place for food “the hand made Burger company” they are without doubt the best, and we get an amazing 10% off all food and drinks!! Everyone truly enjoyed their food. It was then time to head off to our last two locations.

The last locations were about the sun and shadows. The first we used the sun as a second light source creating a rim light around the model, using the B2 flash to fill in the shadows on the front of our subject for a more balanced look. Without using flash the model would have been in darkness.

We then turned around to a metal doorway with using nothing but a video light for the first shot, and then introducing flash for the second creating a more moody shot.

The final part of the day ended at the Forbury Gardens using the bench and stone wall as our lighting backdrop adding the model in. We used two lights with the main light off to camera left and then introducing a fill light low down to camera right as it was just a bit to dark with one light source.

At 16:30 it was time to head back to Jessops for everyone to say their goodbyes, but not before getting a bargain with Jessops offering 15% of all purchaces on the day.