Using the Godox AD600 on My First Post-Lockdown Model Photoshoot!

First Outing In Ages

After what seems like a year, I finally met up with my old friend and model, Andy Taylor Boocock, for a photo shoot.  As usual, we debated where to go. Having photographed at most locations in Leeds so it’s never an easy one trying to work out what to do – all I did was pack my trusty Canon camera kit and GODOX AD600‘s (and an AD200) and went with an open mind. 

The last we visited this bridge over the a58m road, there were many tents and homeless people living there. so we couldn’t really do a shoot, without invading their privacy.  I had parked here a couple of weeks before, and due to the coronavirus, I think many of these homeless people had been given temporary accommodation so we had the place to ourselves. 

 

The photos of this blog are in chronological order.

We started with a  fairly simple Set up, with a softbox attached to a GODOX AD600 flash head lighting and the front right. Behind there was a GODOX ad200 with a blue GEL on it.  You can just about see it lighting the concrete and a bit on his shoulders.  To add a bit of interest, I walked behind a lot of weeds and shot through the growth with the 70-200 lens. As you can see, Andy was nice and sharp and the foliage blurred, this creates texture, quite a cool thing and adds interest to anything.

This next shot is in the same position but instead, I’d moved in closer with the 70-200 lens, and got crouched very low. The angle works really well because of the lines of the building and Bridge giving us different textures and brightness, also you get a decent view of the tattoos on Andy’s neck and chest from this angle.

These next two photos are in essentially the same position. The first was pointing towards the sun so I had to dial down the exposure to stop the background overexposing. I increased the power of the three flashes to keep andy bright.  I had two GODOX AD600 heads, and an ad200

Leaving Andy in the same position I move the flashes clockwise to get this area of blue sky behind his head,  using the  16 to 35 mm lens I could get a lot of background and most of Andy into the image.

 Next we moved below the bridge. The following photos just used one GODOX AD600 with hard light reflector, lighting Andy in the foreground,  and ad200 behind him. We ditched the 3rd light –  mainly to reduce the amount of Kit we needed to move between photos, and also no not to obstruct people passing by.

 So these first two, which I have toned blue in Lightroom, the front light was over my right shoulder as I photographed and the backlight was pointing directly at Andy. This gave the underside of the footpath a little splash of light which separates Andy from the background.

The next few photographs are at ground level inside the bridge, and very cinematic in style. I wanted to create some interesting light patterns by casting the Flash light through railings.  

As you can see, there is a pattern on the wall and across Andy’s body.  This was done by massively underexposing the ambient light and then upping the power on the GODOX AD600 to create shadow and bright lines

It was very hard to predict where the bright and the dark patches were going to occur because the light was at a strange angle, it was at around  2 o’clock, if you picture the scene as a clock face with Andy at the middle, and me at 6 p.m.

 On the last one, which I’ve turned slightly magenta, I zoomed out quite a bit to get some of the road in the background,  it was actually quite bright and sunny so you can see how low the ambient exposure was from this shot.

The next set has Andy at the first level of the bridge. He either sat or stood on the railings.  It’s always a bit scary as if anyone gets injured, you want a nurse with vast experience on hand to mend them if they fool,  not for the nurse with vast experience to be the one who falls!

With this setup I left the GODOX AD600 down below creating the same kind of ribbed light pattern. Then placed the 200 flash on the Walk way  to the left of Andy, just out of sight, so that was illuminating his head and body. 

From here we could quite easily get a lot of variety, just by me moving around. All the images in this section were taken with the 70-200 lens, you can see the variety you can achieve in this zoom range.

 The composition is all about Lines. That is why I enjoy photographing at this bizarre concrete monstrosity.  It is an over-engineered brutalist concrete structure, which is full of texture, lines, light and Shadow. 

You just need to put someone somewhere in the scene and light them, the structure takes care of everything else. A little bit brave of him to stand on top of the handrail but they did make for a good shot!

These 2 are on the Bridge over the motorway, I led flat on the bridge path, right in the middle,  so I could get the most interesting lead lines possible. We can use the railings, deck  and buildings for this. Also, getting low makes Andy’s head high in the frame, so it is in the clear Sky – free from obstruction.

With these next two,  we put the GODOX AD600 high up to camera left and the 200 behind Andy to the right. There is lots of room for me to move around with this setup, as I’m on a long foot path. That was great, but the sky just wasn’t the most exciting behind him from this position. Sure we got this dark brooding look, but there was better sky…

 So to make use of the sky, where the sun was creating patterns in the Cloud, I moved Andy about 5 paces, got the two flashes setup up positioned myself in a less-roomy spot, but one where I could get the amazing Sky.  

As you can probably tell, the first shot was with the 70 to 200,  but in this position, I had no real room to manoeuvre with such a long zoom so swapped over to the 16 to 35 for the final four shots. The first 3 had both lights on, the final photo had the backlight switched OFF, as it would have shown in the photo. 

So that was my first model photoshoot since lockdown. Working with a familiar model in a familiar place may seem a bit predictable. However, we created something totally different to when we’ve been there before. 

It’s often amazing too to revisit locations, because the light is never the same twice, you will have learnt something new since the last visit and the model will usually have some new outfits which work differently in that environment. 

So yes, find new locations, but do revisit old ones too… you never know!

Temple – Leeds – The New Holbeck!

A new name for Holbeck

Here is a video version, with the words spoken… or carry on to see the photos and read it for yourself. 

The area south of Leeds station has been rebranded “Temple Leeds”,  probably because of “Temple works”, an iconic Mill building in the style of an Egyptian temple.  Previously this area was just called Holbeck – which is a district of Leeds. 

 I went for a sunset photoshoot, to capture the Architecture and also record the masses of new building going on in the Temple Leeds area. 

I first knew of Holbeck around the year 2000, when I worked in Marshalls Mill. There was very little to report down there, other than a red light district and an annoying 15-minute walk into the city through quite a scary dark Arches area.

This has completely changed now, with a totally new Skyline in the area. The South entrance to the train station transformed The Fortunes of the dark Arches. General gentrification of the Holbeck area is taking place

Copyright of McFade Photography

I managed to park next to the midnight Bell and Crosskeys pubs, so the Temple Leeds journey starts here with a view over the stream that gives Holbeck its name.

Copyright of McFade Photography

 

Most of these photos are taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV,  with a 24mm tilt Shift lens. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

With it being such a lovely calm day I managed to get great reflections in the “Leeds Liverpool canal”, all these photos are on the south side of the train station, you can see the bridge over the canal. 

On the Far Side of the train viaduct, there is a small, white curved Footbridge from which you can get this classic Temple Leeds view over the city. The trees on either side of the bank really are taking hold now, so it feels a little like you are in the countryside, Looking In. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

 

Over the bridge, I joined Whitehall Road. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

 This is a mixed residential and commercial area, with a brand new development called Riverside West, and an almost-complete complex called Wellington Place. Both have gone up recently and seem to be pretty busy. 

Next to Riverside West both the Leeds Liverpool canal and the River Aire pass under some large Bridges. From the bridge, I took this photograph of the canal as it enters the centre.  The old brick viaduct is no longer in use but was part of the old Leeds central station apparently. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

 The building you can see just to the left of this photograph is known as “No 1”, “26 Whitehall Rd” –  it is one of the regional developments down there and has a very distinctive box-like quality.  

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

As you can see, I was on the wrong side for the sunset,  so had to settle for some detailed photographs with the colourful clouds to one side.

For the final leg of the journey I swapped to the 70 to 200 lens so I could get some “detail images”, there wasn’t a lot going on with the sunset by this point, so it was worth changing.

These last few images are from Globe Road, which links you to the Water Lane area, following the path of the canal. 

It’s definitely an area worth visiting with a camera. Maybe do it in pairs because you occasionally do get some “interesting” characters milling around.  As you can see there is a mix of old Victorian architecture and brand new. You also have train and Canal transport to throw into the mix. A bit of something for everyone

When to go….

 I would suggest that the light is better in winter because the sun sets in a very different position! 

 

Make your photos SHINE with the LIGHTROOM Brush Tool

The Lightroom Brush Tool

Stand out with Selective Editing

Some images really stand out when you see them on Instagram or Facebook, parts of the shot just look so much better than you could ever achieve using normal Lightroom techniques. The secret to creating these kinds of images is to get selective using the Lightroom Brush Tool

All that means is that you apply settings to small parts of the photograph rather than everything at once. Is so you may want to just brighten somebody’s eyes, or perhaps make some rocks stand out in the foreground of Your Landscape image, this is where the Lightroom Brush Tool comes in.

In this tutorial video, we show you how to to use the Lightroom Brush Tool on a photograph taken in the Yorkshire Dales. Also, I show you how to save the settings away for another day – Lightroom allows you to keep settings safe in presets.

Have a go with the Brush yourself…

This technique is used widely in photography editing especially when using Photoshop, you can now do some really powerful things with the Lightroom brush tool so so we recommend you you reopen some old favourite photographs and give it a go. 

One example would be the sky on this photographic shoot around Leeds – it was a genuinely dramatic day but I have used the power of brush techniques to make the sky look even more impressive

FREE Luminosity Mask Extension in Photoshop

Photoshop now comes with lots of “extensions” you can install – either paid or for free – you get to them from this menu item
 
 
That opens up a web browser – you need to be logged in to your Adobe account if you’re not on Creative Cloud this may not work. 
 
 
So if type in “luminosity mask” like I’ve done in the screen shot – it’ll do a search… the results are like this:-
 
 
The one I’ve got is – Luminosity Masking Panel by Greg Benz
 
You click on that and can install it – I can’t do to screenshot it as it’s already installed, but here’s the extension info page.
 
 
Once you’ve got it installed – to use it you need to click the following menu item:-
 
And a small box will open up with just a few buttons – you click on “create masks” to start.
 
 
then open your CHANNELS panel to find about 20 new channels all named “lights”, “darks” and “midtones”. 
 
To select a dark area, hold down your CTRL key and click on one of the dark channels – you’ll get that mask selected as you can just about see here
 
Now you can open up any Adjustment layer you like and the mask will be automatically applied – so if you wanted to make the “darks” darker, you can use curves/exposure/levels, for example. Look at the Curves 1 layer, the mask is a black and white representation of the selection. So if you do anything with the layer, the effect will only happen to the white parts, leaving the black alone. 
 
That’s how to install and use it. 
 
For example, if you wanted to lighten the mid-tones a bring out some detail, then you can control-click on the mid-tone channel, create a curved line and then pull the curve up in the middle of a little bit. You’ll see just the mids changing – the lights and darks stay the same. 
 
It’s really useful and something you can’t really do so well with Lightroom.