my approach to speedlight photography had been along the lines of "avoid it unless it's absolutely
When I had used a speedlight, or
flash as I still think of it, it was to provide
either primary or fill-in lighting as needed.
I often marvelled at the outstanding portraits shot by
professionals in studios or on location using specialist lighting
equipment, but had never attempted such images - mainly because of the
cost of the gear and the time it would take to learn to use it.
along came Damien Lovegrove who showed me how to take stunning
portraits like this one, using the simple speedlight.
Damien's career includes time spent as a lighting technician for the
BBC and then recognition as a top wedding and portrait photographer. He
now transfers his skills to amateur and professional photographers
alike through his workshops and DVDs.
Anyone who has met Damien, either in person or on his DVDs, will
testify to his enthusiasm and ambition for his students to
His latest DVD "Speedlight Mastery" is the result
of the many workshops he has run on speedlight photography combined
into two and a half hours of outstanding tutorials. Filmed on location
in the Bristol and Manchester areas, the DVD makes you feel as though
you are actually on a workshop.
so many tutorials which
instruct at a theoretical
level, Damien discusses how to select a site, set up your gear - be it
one, two or occasionally three speedlights - then he shows you how to
use it to best effect. There is no "here's one I prepared earlier" -
you actually see all that is going on and if it's not right
first time, how to adjust and compensate.
All his explanations are clear and thorough to the extent that you come
away with a solid understanding of the principles involved.
Equally important is communication with the model and the
effectiveness of Damien's style is self evident and well worth taking
in. He achieves a rapport where neither photographer nor model is
intimidated and the resulting images are evidence that the ideas of
both are contributors to the outstanding images produced.
reach the end of this outstanding DVD you are left motivated to have a
go yourself and believing that you can do it.