Model Workshop

Today I participated in a model workshop in Gatineau Park. It was organized by Denis Duchesne. I found out about the workshop through the RA Photo club.

Model Tania
Model Tania

We met a parking lot near the Mackenzie King Estate. There were three models and about ten photographers. We split into groups of two or three photographers and a model. I joined one photographer, Steven, and our model for the morning was Tania. We started with some simple posing in a clearing, and learning to use Steve’s huge reflector/diffuser.

After about 30 minutes, Denis gathered us together and went through some of his own images on his iPad, and talked about the use of social media. Seeing the photos on his iPad made me want to buy an iPad on the way home. After the discussion, we broke into the groups again.

Tania changed into one of her outfits. The three of us went up the nearby steps and on to a forest path and started shooting. Tania is great to work with. She is beautiful and fun to work with.

I noticed a stone bench a short way off the path, so we tried that for a while. Tania changed outfits again. We used Steve’s huge reflector to bounce a sun beam into the scene. It was meant to fill the shadows. Visually it looked great, even on the back of my camera. However when I downloaded all the photos to my computer this evening, I could see that it was too strong – it created upward facing shadows that looked unnatural. We should have used a feathering – bouncing the light so that only the edge of it is reflected at the model. This would reduce the harshness of the light.

For lunch, we walked up to the MacKenzie King Estate. I brought a lunch of cold pizza (my favourite). Others bought hot dogs from the BBQ there.

Model Jennifer
Model Jennifer

After lunch Steve and I joined Jennifer, our next model. We were working areas along another path, including a huge fallen tree and a stream. As with the morning, we were using Steve’s 6-foot bounce, but this time we also tried to use it as a diffuser panel holding it high in the air above our head to soften the early afternoon sunlight on Jennifer. It was hard to hold it up for very long.

Looking at the photos of Jennifer, we were much better at feathering the light in the afternoon. The light we created was more balanced.

I need to work on my posing the models and visualizing what I want. I had hoped to learn about that during this workshop, but I was actually stressed and unsure what to ask for.
I will take more workshops in the future.

I also felt that my nervousness was being reflected from the models. I’m sure I had a terrified look on my face, even hidden behind the camera. I don’t yet have the confidence I need. And I continue to find my style. Looking at the selects from the day, my favourites were the close-up head shots. If those are the ones that turned out the best and those are the ones I like the most, then I should continue to refine and explore that realm of portraiture.

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