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Shaping the Light - The Bratby way

  • Karl Bratby Photographer Studio 6A, Old Knows Factory Nottingham, NG34GQ, UK (map)

Date: 22nd June 2015
Location : Nottingham
Places: 6
Cost: £180
Camera system: DSLR's & Fuji X System

In this creative lighting workshop I will show you my methods and techniques to create amazing award winning images like the ones below. I will also demonstrate why I'm choosing to  shoot with the FUJIFILM X System more and more alongside my Canon DSLR

The morning session will be all about natural lighting, why it is often overlooked in favour of using flash, Natural light has a unique quality and beauty all of its own and needs to be mastered in order to use creatively and I will demonstrate how to augment and shape even the smallest quantity of natural light to create amazing images or with an abundance of light how to use selectively to create dimension shape and form. Natural Light is making a resurgence amongst Pro photographers for both studio and environmental portraiture, flash will always have its place but used creatively nothing can beat Natural Light.
My chosen kit for natural light portraiture is the Fuji X system of cameras and lenses, these cameras when used correctly can revolutionise natural light portraiture.
In my penthouse studio there is an abundance of natural light which will also be utilised and modified if and when necessary with diffusers, reflectors and flags to create a different look to the flash strobe lit image.

 Natural light using Fuji XT1 and 56mm f1.2 

Natural light using Fuji XT1 and 56mm f1.2 

In the afternoon session will explain and demonstrate how the ONE light setup and the correct modifier can be used to create amazing portraits and creative fashion images, many of the worlds best past and present photographers will only use one light! Photographic lighting does not need to be over complex, some will teach 3, 4 or even 5 light setups but these images usually lack emotion, connection and meaning which is imperative in a portrait. It is of particular importance that those attending can replicate with ease the lighting methods we use on the workshop.

I will also demonstrate lighting setups using 2 or 3 lights, the relationship and balancing between the lights and modifiers. We will Also cover the use of the often un-used or overlooked light meter and why this is key to correct lighting technique.

At this creative hands on workshop will be a professional model and mua (make up artist) for hands on shooting experience.
I limit the numbers for these days so I can answer individual questions and make the day more personal.

You will learn:

  • Natural light portraiture and modifying to create beautiful soft light.
  • How to shape natural light, which kit I use, the why and why nots.
  • The one strobe light portrait mastered
  • Two and three light setup, the simple way.
  • Learn how to correctly use a light meter 
  • Fuji X System, why I use this more and more.
  • Canon, Nikon, Sony etc users all welcome.
  • Light placement the DO"s and DONT'S to give amazing professional results.
  • Which equipment to use for any given environment and situation.

Karls Training Philosophy: Whilst its true there are many many photographers offering training, Karl's approach is unique and is based around keeping it very real and even could be said simple. So many people attend workshops but then fail to be able to replicate what they have been taught for various reasons, it could be that it wasn't  explained well enough, or in an over complicated way, the setup or skill is simply un attainable without 3 assistants and 6 lights etc, or maybe the whole thing was setup for you and this lack of hands on meant the new skills simply did not sink in. Karl gets all involved, keeps the group small and insists that the attendees think for themselves, start to problem solve from the outset, no question is to small or in significant. Everyone is equal on Karl's training days, no matter the experience or lack of it, everyone helps each other and defiantly NO egos's allowed.

Testimonials from past attendees:

Victoria Macken
"It is important to me as a photographer to always learn. I seek out the best trainers in the industry who inspire me and that is where I invest my own time and money. Karl Bratby is by far one of the best trainers I have come across. I have been on a couple of his courses learning how to use studio lighting (indoors and out) and in the space of just a couple of days I feel I have come away with some fantastic new skills to bring into my own business. Karl is a generous and extremely knowledgeable trainer without any pretentiousness. For me it so important that a trainer doesn't change your own style. It should be about building your confidence as a photographer and gaining the knowledge to always improve your own work. The whole training day is relaxed with fun and laughter and any questions you may have are always answered fully. I will certainly be back again, I am completely in awe of Karl's work"

Much love

Victoria x

Jon Allen
After attending many workshops over the past four years with some pretty eminent photographers, some really good, some not so, I found Karl Bratby’s flash on location workshop a complete breath of fresh air, no egos, completely relaxed and each step to a shot explained with no assumptions with regard to anyones skill level. Brilliant. Really enjoyable workshop for any photographer wishing to learn flash skills or just to simply brush up old ones. highly recommended. 

John Deakin
My visit to the Karl Bratby studio was for two reasons, firstly to see how my Fuji X-T1 performed in a studio environment shooting in monochrome and jpeg and secondly to spend some fun time, without any pressure, with other creatives in a relaxed no pressure environment.It had been two years since I moved back to the UK from living in South Africa for 13 years and leaving behind my fully equipped professional studio. Whenever we spend time away from doing something, no matter how well we know our equipment, we get rusty. It was a perfect opportunity to re acquaint myself with working in a studio.The Karl Bratby Studio in Nottingham is just a beautiful space, most impressive, fantastic natural light and also equipped with a range of lighting equipment second to none. Second to none pretty much sums up Karl and Steph too, both were great fun to be with, totally professional and hard working ensuring their visitors left with great photographs and more importantly the knowledge to continue their own work with increased confidence in capturing similar images in the future.I am predominantly a Nikon shooter however I came away knowing far more about how the Fuji performs in a studio environment, and with a gallery of wonderful black and white portrait photographs for my personal portfolio. I had a most enjoyable day in a relaxed learning atmosphere and would recommend a day with Karl and Steph to anyone considering investing in their photographic skill set. It will benefit your photography far more than buying more gear and not knowing how best to use it.