Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snappy Happy Workshop photoshoot in Dockyard

The half day workshop last month was such fun and we chose the ideal location to discuss lighting and composition. The Snappy Happy had a great group of enthusiasts and Dockyard was just perfect, as were our incredible models, Will and Genie. After the theory part of the afternoon, we headed out to Dockyard to do a mock engagement shoot, even though our models were already married.

I  made a point of using my point and shoot camera half the time, and the other half, I used my SLR with some of my favourite lenses just to see the comparisons. It was interesting to learn myself how one can capture some beatiful imagery without a high end lens, and forcing me to use my compact camera in a way I do not usually use it.

I shot on full auto mode on my point and shoot camera for all these images. The only think I changed manually was the exposure to bracket the lighting situations. We learned that everyone in the group had an exposure bracketing button on their cameras which allowed all the participants to shoot into the light while still having their subjects well exposed.

Here, the shot above was taken with my compact camera, and the below one is with my SLR. The top one is more about composition and story telling and the lower close up uses depth of field to make its impact.

The image of the couple below is zoomed in with the compact camera. I over exposed it a bit too much as I was only using the LCD to gauge exposure rather than a light meter, but if I had bracketed properly, shooting one that looked under exposed, one that looked right, and one that looked over exposed, there certainly would have been one that was perfectly lit. Having said that, I actually like the blasted out look - it gives it a mood it would not have were all the mid tones there.

The next series were with my SLR which gives more opportunity for controlling depth of field, though many of the participants did have cameras that allowed them to shoot with wider apertures. I chose not to with my compact camera so that I could show the difference of what the point and shoot would do on auto.

Genie had her make up done by Natalia at Bermuda Makeup Studio. Natalia did a great job of giving our model the Hollywood glamour look I was hoping for and I was thrilled with the results. The workshop attendees did not even recognise the fresh faced girl who went in for her make up and emerged the fashionista in a ball gown with scarlet lips.

We talked about how to interact with the subject to get different moods in the image...

...and shooting from different heights to give  new perspective on the same subject.

This whole series was done along one wall in Dockyard because the light was beautiful. Of course we loved the textures in the walls and doors too, but it was the light that made the portraits beautiful.

We also talked about focusing on specific details and how they tell as much of a story as the whole picture.

Next we moved to an area where the light was not as flattering so decided not to do the close up face shots, but tried to incorporate more of the story telling one can do with photography, and how to use composition.

This image above is with my point and shoot, where as the one below of the same set up was shot with my SLR. I actually like the above one better than this bw one below. It just looks sharper!

But I do love the depth of field in the three below which I am not sure one could achieve to quite the same extent with a compact.

One of the subjects we covered in the workshop was how to make shoots special. Since this was a mock engagement session, I wanted it to be relevant to the subjects. Will Black is a musician and so having his guitar in some of the photos only made sense as that is a big part of his life. And his wife, Genie, is probably his biggest fan so we had fun allowing the couple to do their own thing a bit.

These ones below were shot with my compact Canon.

The one below on the left was shot with the compact camera. The one on the right was shot with my SLR. I can barely see any difference - in fact, the only difference I see is actually the proportions since for some reason, my point and shoot camera does not produce the typical 2x3 ratio images, but something a little closer to a square - I am sure it is in my settings and I can change it, though not sure how.

And here the main difference seems to be the colour - the point and shoot produces much warmer more saturated colours like the above compared to the muted tones in the SLR produced images below - and here I spend hours in the post processing to try to attain punchy colours!!

The below is interesting - the first image is actually the double windows with the couple in them shot with my compact camera.

And below is an image Genie in one window and Will in the other photographed separately with my SLR and I placed the two images side by side in a diptych, hence the white space down the centre of the wooden join. Again, it is a good example of how the SLR either pics up more mid tones, or perhaps it is simply that exposing only using the LCD panel on the back of the camera is not as effective.

As you can see by the proportions of all of these next images, they were shot with my compact Canon. I am just thrilled with them, from the low light ability to the exposure. In fact, this one below, and the other similar one of Genie are two of my favourites from the day.

I just can't get over how well this one turned out coming from a point and shoot camera. Everything about it just works for me and I am thrilled as I was a bit worried that I would not be able to make captures with my compact that would compare with the results from the SLR. This to me proves otherwise and that in itself makes the Snappy Happy workshop a big success in my mind - I cannot wait to see what the others came up with.

These next few are from my SLR - really similar and in some cases, rather weird things happening with the light being too much for my lens.

And in my opinion, saving the best for last, that really is what happened on this workshop. We had been about to leave Dockyard when we were invited up into this beautiful space. And then when we were over time and only had a couple of minutes left, Will and Genie danced for us. I thought I would die of excitement for how beautiful the image was. I was sure the camera would not capture it, and certainly not the point and shoot, but below, these first three are with my compact Canon. I am so thrilled - I love these photos and of course I have done some photoshop magic on them, but the original captures were so romantic already.

And these ones were with my SLR... more dreaminess.

And my favourite two images of the day to finish with...

So thank you to the incredible models for all their hard work, and thank you to Natalia for the great make up, and of course thank you thank you to the fabulous participants of the workshop for making the day possible. It was a great experience for me to shoot in such a way with my compact camera and I came away having learned things I did not know so in a way, it was a workshop for me too. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and can't wait to see your results.


  1. Those are stunning... Love LOVE the last seven... and Natalia in the window... and the ones outside hanging off the window grate. Yummy!

  2. Wow! I am a Bermudian abroad and I check your site every date. This is my first posted comment - Wow! Just fantastic. I hope I can take one of these workshops one day! I think your work, your accompanying stories and the love for what you do is so inspirational! Thanks!


I'd love it if you left me a note!