Dr Lovelution


Joe Cusimano

Founder of the Lovelution Movement, Joe Cusimano met for a shoot in Halifax – sheltering from the rain under a few of its viaducts!

What is Lovelution…

From his Viva La Lovelution Facebook page, Joe says…

Join the Lovelution: Follow your Heart, Shine your Light,Seek the Truth and Reunite! This is YOUR revolution! Lets Synergize our unity and change the world. 

Love unites all, with love there are no boundaries, no separations. We are all One. Get involved by Sharing this page with your friends and family ♥

This is YOUR revolution! The world is changing, there is a shift upon us, a shift away from fear and hatred and towards Love and Unity. A shift that has been foretold by so many cultures around the world, for thousands of years. We can co-create the reality we want, we ARE the ones we have been waiting for.. 

Join forces in the name of Love. Spread hope and smiles, share knowledge, truth, creativity and ideas, awaken the masses! Bring your friends along for the ride, spread the love far and wide!

Free your mind.
Viva La Lovelution
Peace 😀 xxx



The Shoot

Joe’s a natural performer – he involves everyone who passes by, they pause and listen, walk over and join in…

To capture this, Joe just set up as normal – speaker, tunes, mic… GO!

Then I set up lights around him – up to 4 strobes on some of the later shots – and captured the action as it happened.

Location had to be under cover because of the horrible weather – pouring down as usual. It worked to our advantage later on as the blobs of rain were lit by the flashes – adding an ethereal texture to the photos.

The Future

We’ve already got a car-photo project in the planning, and we’ll be running a some urban portrait workshops with Joe and the Lovelution guys.

We’re definitely looking forward to creating more great images and sharing ideas!


5 – Flash Addicts – Strobists…

Light it at All Costs


The Flash Addicts are driven to introduce their own light to everything – whether it needs it or not.

Their enjoyment is in adding that rim lighting, colouring backgrounds, and playing with the latest flash modifiers.

Stacks of Kit…

Armed with “poverty wizard” style radio triggers, light stands and a few Youngnuo speed-lite flashes, they head out literally “anywhere” and light stuff – usually people; anyone can model, usually unwilling mates will do… it’s the lighting which matters, that’s the enjoyment.

They use different coloured Gels in an attempt to atmosphere – reds, greens, blues are popular. They also have all the colour correction gels like CTO (orange) and CTB (blue) – or had – most of them have blown away in the wind on their last shoot.

They have a cupboard filled with light spheres, beauty dishes, flash benders, reflectors, flags, brollies and all kinds of sofboxes – most of which turned out to be useless, or they can’t use outside due to wind… and there’s the pile of broken flashes because of the wind blowing them over to their demise.

Dangerous Locations



They have loads of locations in mind – though anywhere with Graffiti appeals most. Graffiti and dereliction are king.

Graffiti walls in dodgy areas – this adds to the fear of being mugged by a gang of youths… or chases from security guards in derelict buildings adds to the vibe.


Creating “drama” is what motivates them – on camera flash isn’t interesting, it’s not creative or hard enough. Off camera is sufficiently hard to be interesting – a technical self flagellation. It totally transforms the look, dark brooding backgrounds and near-black skies with Film Noir rim lighting. Bright warm days are turned into dark cold nights.

They have no need for light meters, preferring to walk on the wild side of using their histogram. Chimping is their main reference – usually looking at the camera back more than the model.


They probably use a 70-200 lens – it’s part of the uniform. It’s mainly for “appearance”, as even if clueless on how to set up the shots, the big lens makes everyone think they know what they are doing. It also helps when they want blurry backgrounds, their work is all about how cool their subject’s lit – not the background. Plus lighting a background is hard work, isn’t it?

The strobist type will worship David Hobby – by definition as he is the founder of Strobism. They have watched his videos and spend hours failing to recreate his images.

4 – Die Hard Landscaper

Sleep Deprivation

Up well before the lark, usually 2 hours before the sun rises, so they can drive an hour and walk 40 minutes to be in “that” position for the sunrise they’ve planned for the last 4 years.

They say a prayer before bed – “Please god, let the light be good this year” – then in a leap of faith, they gamble a night’s sleep for an unlikely lovely nuclear sunrise.

There better had be a great sunset – the last 50 times they’ve been there it’s never been right… they are persistent, they never give up till they get THAT shot.


reflection in road_MG_7194 _MG_7210 pool reflection ovenden_01 _MG_9289 _MG_9376

They have been to the every UK location 10 times before, so have set their own “high bar” to beat.

They go in summer, they go in winter – they know the location intimately and know where they best vantage points are.

They know the composition which works best.

They just have to go back over and over again on the off chance that they light will be a little different…

Meticulous planning…

At one with sunrise charts and tide times – meticulous planning goes into each of their trips. The best die hards love walking up hills and mountains, getting to places others never see; it gives them a unique advantage.

“A Wainwright’s” pictorial guides to the Lake District are commonly used – though most will have memorised these in advance.

Good Light or Nowt

20 minutes after sunrise the camera goes away – “bad light… can’t do anything till sunset now”.

In fact – if the sunset ir rubbish, they won’t trouble their camera – only pressing the shutter if the light is perfect.

Big Stoppa Lovers

Progressives may get out their Big Stoppa filter in the daytime… entering a brave new world of daylight long exposures, with their whooshing clouds and infinitely soft water.

Yes – the brave few will let full daylight hit their cameras, usually in the presence of a waterfall or burbelling stream in a gorge – where the light will be dappled by overhead trees

Tree Lovers

And finally – they LOVE trees… trees are gods focal points.

They’ll go back to the same tree over and over again. The high up hills you go, the smaller they get – but you can still use them, in fact, you MUST use them at an cost.

If you have gone past the tree line, where no trees grow, you then have to find a suitable rock instead. These ideally need to have good light and shadows – warm amber colours on one side, and dark, rich shadows on the other.

The dream scenario is a wonderful rock formation AND a tree – and this is where Malham comes in. A tiny Yorkshire Dales village with a tree about 3 miles above – this tree has perfect rocks which not only get “good light” at sunset AND sunrise, but their long cracks actually point at the tree….

Here is a little game to end on…

In the comment box below – please name the location of the following trees… if you get more than 2, you are a Die Hard God!








6the leaning tree





11buttermere velvia




Photographer Type 3 – The Compositor

Who are they….?

Tortured Visionaries who take photos of stuff, cut it out and bung them all together in a hybrid shot. There is usually some deep story behind the image and the challenge is for you, the viewer, to work it out.

They go for months without touching their camera – they need inspiration, unable to take photos for mere enjoyment. They have to work towards a vision. A Project. Photos are just components in a larger creation.

Photoshop Gods…..

They have become masters of photoshop, they need to balance colour temperatures and hide edges of the 26 layers they’ve added to the shot.

Like the Floral and Lace Photographers, they have thousands of Photoshop brushes and textures, these help hide the edges where needed. They say they are reluctant to show their work as it’s too revealing, too personal. Yet no one really knows what they are on about unless they read the accompanying paragraph of self indulgence…

How to spot their work

Expect to see dark, brooding results – blackened cloudy skies, solemn figures grafted into impossible positions, missing heads, people in picture frames, photoshopped birds and trees, super-huge moons, slightly surreal studio lit people outside buildings…

You’ll find a lot of this work on high end websites such as 1x.com

Photographer Type 2 – Floral and Lace

Or digital artists – these are very popular on all the photo sharing websites, their natural home is Deviant Art.

Often young and female, with attractive friends who resemble extras from “Skins” – they take moodily posed photos, often with a bag, teddy bear or some other large prop, in woodlands or derelict buildings.

Furry Texture


I’ve not got any of these shots in my portfolio, but here is some fur which could be used on the photo…. read on… 

Then in Photoshop, they lavishly apply filter after filter to introduce “lens flare”, layers of lace textures, maybe some words or musical score to one side of the model, faded colours and sepia tints always add to the final effect.



Flaking paint – perfect to add that pained, misunderstood, angst ridden feel to any beautiful model’s face… 

Their hard drive is awash with photos of hessian sacks, lace, crumpled brown paper bags and flaking paint, which reveals rust below.

The end result is like a Victorian book illustration.

Fire on the Moors!

The Grande Finale!

We started a series of Night Workshops back in November 2013 – 15 workshops taking people from Nidderdale in the north to Huddersfield in the west, Parks and moors, city centres and saw dozens of photos edited for the attendees.

The final night was thankfully a dry one, one with hazy moon light and little wind

We met at Saddleworth Moor and traversed a route around 3 stops where we did some light painting and wire wool spinning.

The still water in the reservoir was perfect for reflections – the result being a pair of glowing eyes with wild hair flying off in all directions!

Here are a few from the evening

1 – Geek and Tech Addicts


You’ll know these as they’ll ask you what camera you have before anything else. Then move on to whether you’ve heard about the new camera they’ve heard speculated about on the forums, and how it’s ISO performance “blows out of the water” your camera…

He is in a state of “always craving more kit”, and longing for a Canon 1DX or a Nikon D4 camera body, and a 500mm F4 L lens, that’s what keeps him interested.

Conversation always get around to what he could do if only he had a #insert new bit of kit here#. Then they’ll quote between 2 and 8 different reviews on the thing they are interested in and debate which of the 14 sellers they’ve checked out on EBAY to go with.

The Geek will be full of numbers, stats and reasons to do things – but probably doesn’t do that much actual photography.

The enjoyment is the research and acquisition of kit rather than making images. Sure, they will create some technical masterpieces on the few occasions they go out, but they’re not as motivated to “use” the camera as they are to “talk about it” .

They rarely, if ever, photograph people.


Photography appeals to EVERYONE!

It’s unique isn’t it – this photography thing.


  • It appeals to retired men and teenage girls
  • It’s used by bohemian artists and geeky computer programmers.
  • It’s as slow and contemplative as fishing, or as fast and furious as grand prix racing.
  • It’s a fun pastime, or a serious competitive sport.
  • It can take hours of planning or be completely impromptu
  • To do it, you can have zero knowledge or understand every concept

After many years I’ve met many types, and it’s truly amazing how diverse people are, and how differently they enjoy their hobby.

Over the next week, I’ll introduce to you some of the main types…

Watch this space!