Shooting with available light workshop with Morag MacDonald Hammersmith Novotel

Returning to the SWPP convention last month here are some images from a superclass I took with Morag MacDonald and the gorgeous model Illy.  Morag is a master at using light, creating light and finding light where many people would never even start looking.  The object of the session was to make use of available light sources and experiment with adding in different kinds of light when necessary.  We were to be found shooting in the most peculiar places around the hotel.  The most entertaining spot was in a lift doorway, which required someone to keep an eye on the indicator above the door and Illy to be prepared to leap out of the way at a moment’s notice!

This first shot returns to the famous stone wall, much beloved of all photographers at the convention.  Halogen down lighters are a frequent problem in venues, so we experimented with how to use them to  your advantage with this shot.

This next shot is all about the eyes and the lips.  Illy had the most amazing eyelashes and her shiny lips really sing out in this quiet, contemplative shot.  This shot was taken on the floor – Illy was lying alongside a counter that had a strip light along the bottom.  The light was reflecting off the floor into her face.  This was shot in the lobby area of the hotel, yet it has such peace about it.

This next shot is light entirely with the available light inside a corridor.  I love the reflections in the big mirror that Illy is leaning on, again showing those amazing lashes and lips.


After darkness fell we ventured outside to see what shots could be captured on the dark city streets, that are in fact not quite as dark as you might think.  This next shot is lit purely from the light off an illuminated advertising panel.  Illy was a great model, very patient and even coped well with the unwanted attention of a local who decided to try and get in on the shots!  I suppose we must have made quite a sight – a posse of photographers all lying on the floor around a girl who was posing in front of an advertising board!


Another advertising hoarding provided the backdrop for this final shot.  In this one we did add in a little light from a continuous light source, as Illy’s face a was a little too dark.  I love the warm glow it brings to Illy, in contrast with the slightly blue light from the board behind her.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *