Shooting for Composites Workshop - Chester

We recently held a 'Shooting for Composites' workshop in Chester. And what a great day it was. 

The energy that people bring to the workshops never ceases to amaze me, and this particular group of people that attended were no exception. Full of energy, eager to learn and open minded, just brilliant.


We ran the workshop in chester, and it was an honour for me to be able to shoot in Damian McGillicuddy's studio, which is also the Northwest Training Academy of Olympus UK.

To be able to work within the studio that Damian has produced some of his finest work from, really was special for me. To put it into context for non photographic people, its akin to Lewis Hamilton allowing you to drive his championship winning F1 car for the day, and I am extremely grateful to Damian for granting us permission, and also trusting us with his purpose built state of the art studio.


The purpose of the workshop, was as its title suggests, to learn to shoot for composite images. 
Because we were shooting a professional model and MUA, I also encouraged photographers attending to take a variety of photographs, so they could also maximise the day as a  Portfolio building day as well.


We started with a theory session, covering many topics, to give an understanding of the hands on work we would be doing later.


As we had a break in the rain, we had a short explore outside the studio, to practice shooting a background, that we could use later in the composite work. I always try to reinforce what has been show in theory, by actually getting hands on.



We then got hands on and shot our model Michela, applying what we ha discussed in the previous theory session. This is always a good time for me to look at peoples camera handling, and help them with their camera craft. 

The group was encouraged to shoot the model from different heights, and also at full length, 3/4 and head and shoulders, to maximise the shooting opportunity, and make sure they had good variety when putting a composite image together, and for producing portraits later, so again, in some respects a portfolio building day in many respects.


The final part of the day was to put together what we had learned in the theory session, background and model photography, into a final composite. I started by demonstrating various extraction techniques, and methods of making different parts of the composite  


This is one of the images I shot on the day, and composited into a different background. I have shown the original images, and final image.


An all round great day, with an extremely buoyant and interactive group of people. I consider myself extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be involved with people that have the same common love of photography.

As always my team that work with me were amazing, they really make the day go the way it should and do a lot of the behind the scenes work without fuss, but I would be lost without them.
A very special set of dedicated people, and my thanks as always goes out to them.


Equipment used on the workshop:
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens and 7-14mm Pro Lens. Olympus Link
Profoto B2 location lighting kit.
McGillicuddy Multi Modifier 36" in Beaty Dish configuration. Multi Modifier Link
Sekonic L-358 Light Meter.
2 x 4ft Strip Gridded Soft Boxes.
MacBook Pro.
Wacom Bamboo Medium Tablet. 
Adobe Photoshop CC2015
Adobe Lightroom CC
DXO Optics Pro