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Wether its making the best use of what’s available, modifying existing or setting up your own, one thing that every photographer must understand is light.

It does not matter how great the subject, if the light is wrong, the image will not work. This weeks images could not be more different but they demonstrate this.

Last Monday I was training some clients in Frondsham, Cheshire. As it was to be a 9AM start, I traveled by train on the Sunday, starting out early enough to ensure I had a few hours good light to shoot some of the surroundings. Dumping everything at the hotel I went for a wander and found that the hotel was atop a high hill with wonderful views to the Mersey Valley and surrounded by lush woods. The sky was blue and I spend a nice couple of hours walking and shooting before returning to dinner. After dinner I wandered back out as the Sunset was wonderful and (although I hate shooting cliched images), shoot this sunset over the River Mersey.

Sunset over Liverpool taken from the War Memorial on Overton Hill, Frondsham

Travelling back on the Monday night I took a call asking  if I was free the next day to join a production company on set to shoot some film “stills”. This was a new line for me but as they were keen and I came recommended I switched my diary a little and headed over to the location the next day.

The set was in a dark nightclub and I was required to shoot stills of a main cast character. We found an area to the side and asked lighting to rig me some lights. (What a great feeling that was; never had someone rig my lights before). It was obvious that the images had to reflect the film and also that the surroundings were going to have a huge effect on the finished product. The lights given gave a nice light but were of a tube variety I had never used so I started playing with positioning and white balance to get the look and feel I was looking for (using the Mac as a remote as I planned to shoot tethered with me as the subject). This is one of my test shots; a rare self portrait:

Julie Edwards: Self Portrait

I will have to wait to show the final shots as of course they need to be kept under wraps.

So far we have covered available, creating your own and now we have modifying available. In this case the sun is giving a nice backlight to this group shot (taken at a roof top  reception). Adding a balanced flash completes the lighting ensuring the faces are nicely lit.

Martin Kemp, his wife Shirlie Holliman and producer Jonathan Sothcott

So without being at all technical you can see all the different types of light I have needed to work in over the course of a few days, each requiring understanding to harness it

I’ll end with another sunset (from the same set as the one above)  for you to contemplate:

Sunset over Liverpool taken from the War Memorial on Frondsham Hill