Between January 2000 and June 2008 I posted a large number of technique examples taken from my daily work to show how I used light in an era where digital cameras were pretty poor at ISOs over 800 or even 400 in the case of the venerable Kodak DCS520. These days flash is a creative choice rather than a technical necessity but the techniques still stand up.




This page has now been "frozen in time". If you want to see the newest technique pages CLICK HERE to go to the blog technique link . There is a really good reason for this - the images on these older pages belong to my former employer and, whilst I have their permission to keep them on line, that means that I cannot put any adverts or commercial links on the pages which use their images that weren't there when I went freelance in September 2008.

Over the years I have done a number of liver seminars and taught at quite a few college and universities. I am always open to offers from colleges, clubs and individuals who wish to book my services for tuition. I will try to publicise any public or open seminar events as much as I can and the best place to find out about them is my blog.

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A lot of news photographers don't think that they are allowed enough time to light pictures, so they rely on their hot shoe mounted flash or on moving their subject into the daylight. If your kit is lightweight and well planned, if it's reliable and quick to assemble then you can light as much of your work as you want to. I tend to specialize in editorial portraiture, so that is the area of work that I'm going to talk about.

When I was writing these pages my basic kit was one Lumedyne 200 joule pack, one Signature head, two regular batteries, one stand, an umbrella, a Chimera softbox and a Pocket Wizard kit - all in one sling bag. Since May 2009 that all changed and the Lumedyne kit was replaced by an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra system. I still like the Lumedynes but the Elinchrom is a few percentage points better!

In October 2003 I added an Umbrella Box to my kit in the hope of replacing two light modifiers with one, which has worked in some ways but I have to confess that I go through phases of using each of the light modifiers for a while and then switching


Flash and blur 1 Flash overpowering daylight Mixing colour temperatures
Silhouettes 2 Reflections in a table Shooting from the shade
Adding atmosphere with colour Flash and blur 2 The interview portrait
Changing your plans Using a small flash unit Shadows, sunshine and flash
Adding to the ambient light Deliberately hard shadows Re-creating the scene
Flash fall off Picking out details with flash The light inside
The old master look Wave that flag An artist's portrait
Shooting for composites Does clutter work? Using a small flash unit part 2
Using a small flash unit part 4 More about shooting glass Still life and movement
The view from above The view from above part 2 Contrast, colour and glass
Pepping up the background Choosing a mood Replacing colour
Rapid set up and shoot Amazing backdrop Big glass box
Two minute still life Unusual surroundings Kick lights
Why we use lights After dark... part 1 After dark... part 2
Afternoon flash Working silhouette Two set-ups at the same time
Hiding the flash in the frame Back on the beach About angles
Silhouettes 1 Outside a barn at night Different styles
Shooting through glass North light Flash, camera, action...
Working with layouts Using a small flash unit part 3 Lighting a conference platform
A pool of light Losing bad backgrounds A morning in the park
Flash in a box Power portrait Door Light

Every photographer has their own take on WORKFLOW. Exactly how you go about getting your images from the camera to the client depends on so many factors; time, number of images, quality required, software available etc etc. This page shows you how I go about my daily routine.


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