Damien Lovegrove

Hollywood Portraits Remastered ~ With the Fujifilm X-Pro1 |
Damien Lovegrove

Here is the result of my summer project. My quest to revitalise the Hollywood look started exactly 5 years ago today back in 2008 with this very popular Prophotonut post. Now I’m glad to say that everyone is at it and the Hollywood look has finally been reborn. The look needs Fresnel lens lights for authenticity. But wow, what style! Five years ago LED Fresnel spotlights weren’t even dreamed of. Now they have largely replaced the fairly recently developed HMI units from Lupolux and Hedler. LED is the future and it’s here right now. Here are 40 of the many Hollywood portraits from my latest sets complete with their exif data, and lighting notes. Enjoy…

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10 Portraits and a review of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 LM lens
Damien Lovegrove

I was a little apprehensive when I ordered the new Fuji 55-200mm zoom lens. It’s not a lens that was high on my list. I mainly shoot portraits and a bit of fashion so I was interested to see how it performs in the real world. Here are ten portraits all shot with the new zoom together with my thoughts on the pros and cons of such a lens…..

Do I love this lens?

Yes It’s perfect in all but the darkest environments for portraits. With my 60mm f/2.4 lens I need to use 1/250th second to get a sharp shot. Gone are the days where we can use the reciprocal of the focal length to capture sharp shots hand held. With the circles of confusion getting ever smaller with reducing pixel sizes and the crop factor to consider image stabilisation is more important than ever before. I use a shutter speed of 2 (1/1.5F) for non stabilised lenses. This new zoom is just one stop down at the 60mm setting but will allow me to use 1/125th second setting to freeze subject movement so the low light capability for static portraits is about the same as the 60mm lens……

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Carla Monaco in the landscape and ruins of Fuerteventura |
Damien Lovegrove

The small island of Fuerteventura is just off the coast of Africa and while it was snowing in the UK we basked in 26º sunshine. This is just the second time I’ve shot with Carla so I arranged a recce and a practice shoot the day before the workshop. I had done a provisional recce of the island and a shoot with my mate and fellow tutor Martin Hill at the same time in 2012. So we knew it was going to be amazing. This recce with Carla was just to refresh my memory and check that everything was still okay. Together we mapped out our shoot locations, decided on the styling for each zone and planned the lighting set ups…..

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Film Noir ~ A Hollywood style reborn | Damien Lovegrove

The pictures in this post were shot on my recent ‘Film Noir’ workshop in Northampton. I’ve been researching the genre for some 4 months and I was generally unimpressed by the lack of great reference images on Google. It was upon this discovery that I knew I was onto something. The Wikipedia entry for Film noir is “…a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasise cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.” Hollywood’s classical Film Noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s however it often depicted scenes from just after the great depression of 1929 – 1933. I’ve been shooting with a classic Hollywood style since I completed my lighting director training at the BBC way back in 1992. But is has only been since 2008 that I’ve integrated this style of photography into my lighting and portraiture workshops. The vintage style has been the trigger for this resurgence of interest. I’m not a fan of vintage with Instagram looks or altered colours, however I do predict that pure monochrome Hollywood style portraits like those crafted by Studio Harcourt in Paris will be a future product genre to line the pockets of professional studio based photographers. I’m often asked what makes a portrait ‘Hollywood’ in style? My answer is the light sources and lighting in general. Vintage Hollywood also needs appropriate hair, make up and fashion styling to complete the look. There is a new genre opportunity that takes classic Hollywood lighting and fuses it with modern fashion styles like the exciting emerging SteamPunk movement. What makes this Hollywood lighting special is the use of traditional spotlights with fresnel lenses and barn doors. These luminaries produce crisp hard light that is controllable using a flood/ spot system and by shaping of the barn doors. That sums up pretty much everything you can’t do with studio flash without expensive fresnel adaptors.

The great news with fresnel lensed lighting is it has come of age and is now more convenient and better value than ever before. Arri, 150, 300 and 650 fresnel spotlights cost less than Nikon or Canon Speedlights and even the powerful daylight balanced units from Lupolux are a comparable price, pound for Lumen. The Lupolux spotlights use HMI or LED sources, are cool running, can work off batteries or inverters and produce enough light to use sensible shutter speeds for hand held shooting. This innovation is exciting for stills photographers because we can tap into the kind of lighting that was the reserve of film crews with mega budgets. The numbers in the Lupolux range of lights refer to their equivalent power when compared to tungsten spotlights. All the Lupolux units emit a cool pure daylight balanced light of between 5200k and 5600k depending upon the light. The Lowel and the Arris are warm tungsten balanced lights of 2950k and 3100k respectively and are used primarily after dark when tungsten room lighting becomes the principal light source of the set.
 
Shoot essentials

Model/ actress: Chloe-Jasmine Whichello
Makeup and hair: Claudia Lucia Spoto
Styling: Chloe-Jasmine Whichello, Lisa Keating and Damien Lovegrove
Location: Pipwell Hall, Northamptonshire
Camera kit: Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 18-55mm OIS f/2.8-4 zoom and 35mm f/1.4 lenses.
Filters: Tiffen Black Pro Mist ¼ on all pictures.
Lights: Arri 150 and Arri 300 junior spotlights. A Lowel iD battery light with lithium power supply. Lupolux DayLED 650 and 1000 spotlights. Lupolux HMI 800 and 1200 Spotlights. …..

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Bridal Fashion Workshop with Carla Monaco | Damien Lovegrove

I shot all of these 33 pictures using the Fujifilm X-Pro1 with the 18-55mm zoom lens and a Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/8th filter attached. One camera, one lens and up to two lights at any time for a simple yet stylish shoot. I had 5 delegates with me and we shot all day in the sumptuous Hilton Hotel in Manchester. We were in the Cloud 23 bar all morning and then after a delightful lunch we moved to the corridors and reception areas for the afternoon shoot.

Dresses: Lisa Keating
Makeup and hair styling: Emma MacKenzie
Model: Carla Monaco

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Helen Diaz test shoot pictures ~ Fuji X-Pro1 & 18-55mm Lens | Damien Lovegrove


 
December is the month that I set aside for creative time. Time to write, shoot and think. This shoot has been planned for several weeks. I won’t discuss the original concepts but it’s fair to say they weredark. I have a new friend in the wedding and fashion industry Lisa Keating who partnered us on this shoot. Lisa custom made the corsets, the head pieces and accessories. Luke, my graphic and web designer is currently building a new website for Lisa and it will be ready for launch very soon. I first met Helen and Lisa on a shoot in the summer that I volunteered to assist on. I suggested we got together for some creative fusion at some point soon and I love the way that effort is rewarded.

The dream team are…

Model: Helen Diaz
Make up and hair: Vicki Waghorn
Styling: Lisa Keating
Photography: Damien Lovegrove
Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 18-55mm OIS zoom lens mostly shot at the 55mm end wide open at f/4
Lights: Lupolux Quadlight 1500, Lupolux DayLED 1000 x2, Lupolux 800, Lupolux DayLED 650
Post production: Straight from Lightroom without Photoshop intervention
 
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Fashion Fusion workshop ~ Day 1 pictures | Damien Lovegrove

Here are a selection of my pictures from day one of this lavish two day workshop. I’ve added some lighting and style notes for good measure too.

Model: Katie Green
Make up: Sophie Page
Location: Pipewell Hall

Workshop page with facts and figures:

Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 18mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses
Lighting kit: Canon and Nikon Speedlights, RF 601 triggers from Ebay, Lovegrove Gemini bracket with umbrellas, Lastolite Ezybox with grid.

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Monochrome magic with Chloe Jasmine Whichello | Damien Lovegrove

See on Scoop.itFuji X-Pro1

Here are a set of pictures from my recent Urban Portraits workshop in Bristol. It was my last street workshop of the year and the first Urban Portraits workshop that I have run on a Sunday.

My kit list:

  • [amazon_link id="B006UV6YMQ" target="_blank" locale="US" container="" container_class="" ]Fujifilm X-Pro1[/amazon_link] camera, 18mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses.
  • [amazon_link id="B000NP3DJW" target="_blank" locale="US" container="" container_class="" ]Canon 580 EX11 Speedlight[/amazon_link] attached to a Lastolite Jupiter stand using a Lovegrove flash bracket.
  • 55cm Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe with a tilt head bracket and a grid.
  • Ebay radio triggers (RF601)

Model: Chloe Jasmine Whichello
Styling: Chloe Jasmine Whichello
Make up: Chloe Jasmine Whichello

I taught 6 delegates my street shooting style and how I use a Speedlight creatively. The kit chosen for this kind of workshop is far less relevant than the way it is used. About half of the pictures here use added light from the Speedlight. The weather was very dull indeed and eventually the rain set in so I needed the Speedlight to add contrast and life to some of my pictures. Many look naturally lit even though I used a Speedlight and that subtlety is often the key to a successful set of pictures…

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Portraits in the ruins of Spain with the Fuji X-Pro1 ~ pictures and
techniques | Damien Lovegrove

See on Scoop.itFuji X-Pro1


 
Every year I run a few spectacular workshops abroad somewhere in the sun and always at visually inspiring locations. This year it was the turn of southern Spain and the area around Cartegena. We ran a similar workshop in 2011 and centered that event around an abandoned monastery. This year we used other abandoned locations including a mineral extraction factory, a military barracks, and mine buildings. Here are a selection of my pictures and the settings I used to create them.
 

Lighting kit per group:

 
2x Canon 580 EX2 Speedlights, 1x Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Lovegrove Gemini bracket, 2 Lastolite Jupiter stands, Pocket Wizard triggers and receivers. A silver umbrella, a reflector or Lastolite Ezybox. All the kit needed was supplied by us or shared among the delegates. The systems were simple and very effective.
 
Models: Natalia Warner and Olivia Ward
 
Local fixer: Mickie Imre
 
My camera kit: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 60mm, 35mm and 18mm lenses, Gitzo 3551 monopod, RRS ball head and L-Plate with grip. All Speedlights were in manual mode and triggered using the standard (non control TL) signals.
 
My fellow tutor on this event was Martin Hill. Martin is a top pro photographer and an all round great bloke. Between us we reccied the locations, surveyed the risks, organised the local support and made it happen…..
 
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A boudoir/ fashion shoot in Belgium | Damien Lovegrove

See on Scoop.itFuji X-Pro1

 

I decided to share far more pictures than normal with this set. More shots mean a weaker selection but I thought it worthwhile sharing my evolution to some of the images plus my choices and the reasons why I chose them. So I apologise if you are on a slow connection but I hope the subtlety between frames isa worthy subject to study. Now these pictures are what I call viewing files. Straight from Lightroom 4.2 without any Photoshop or skin softening. This is the standard I show my clients and then I work further on any that they buy for their album or folio. Prints are usually on art paper from 16 bit tiffs. What you see here is pretty much what I saw in camera on the shoot. I drove my ‘cool’ new Fiat 500 to Cologne a couple of weeks ago just for the fun of it. My reason for the trip was to spend time at Photokina and to enjoy the delights of Belgium too. I’ve long been a fan of cities like Antwerp and Brugges and my trip to Cologne gave me good reason to pop in on and spend time with some amazing photographers. I stopped by Luc Peters sensational studio in the heart of Antwerp and was treated to a fabulous dinner in the restaurant opposite. The man is an inspiration on every level. I then had a trip to De Haan to meet up with Tom Museeuw. I met Tom on Twitter and we struck up a relationship straight away. Tom is the master of reflectors and is rightly sponsored by California Sunbounce. Tom also has some Lupolux spotlights so we decided to set up a creative continuous light shoot. Tom mainly shoots children’s fashion and shoots more than 30 catalogues each year. You can follow him on twitter as @fotofolio. Boudoir was right out of Tom’s comfort zone and I admire that he agreed to give it a go. Tom booked me into the fabulously eccentric guest house Chant d’Oiseaux for a couple of nights and we took over the place on the day in between. I had discussed the possibility of an impromptu shoot in the woods with Tom on the afternoon I arrived (the day before our scheduled shoot) but the sun turned to rain and it became stormy so we soon retreated to the hotel. I was feeling rather despondent at that point but Tom fired me up. The energy and passion of another photographer is such a valuable resource and I must admit the next few pictures are powered by Tom’s drive and determination…


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