A couple of weekends ago I attended a studio lighting course at Garage Studios in Brighton, England. For a long time I’ve been reluctant to use flash. I simply don’t like the way much of flash photography looks. I’ve only wanted to use natural light, but after a while I grew tired of the grainy shots one gets by cranking up the ISO and shoot at very low aperture. However, I’ve discovered that much of the photography that I’m a sucker for isn’t shot in natural light, even if it looks very natural. Now, that makes me curious. How can I get light to be like that? I don’t know much about lighting and I fall asleep every time I try to watch any of the strobist DVD’s, where some geeky fat dudes in ugly shorts seems to have an orgasm every time they explain every technical detail of a set-up. Now, I don’t mind technique, but it’s as if the technicalities are all that matters and I’m usually not too impressed with the resulting photos they produce, typically of some pretty busty girl standing in a bikini on a field somewhere. Technique that does not become art is of no interest to me.
I was really lucky with the Studio Lighting Course at Garage Studios. It was just what I needed. The crew there had a very nice take on things. Firstly, they focused on the artistic and creative side of photography. Then secondly, instead of mind numbingly showing us 5 lighting set-ups for us to copy when we got home, Kevin and Tash showed us how to build the lighting set-ups piece by piece and to evaluate and experiment to get the result we wanted. It was so motivating and refreshing. All I can think about now when I see a photo is – how is the light set up here? Now, I need to experiment and get more equipment. Good thing I can experiment inside our studio this winter!