Olympus Lighting Workshop at Fotofilia

Readers of this blog will know I’m something of an Olympus aficionado having converted to the OM-D lineup of cameras almost two years ago now. It was great to discover therefore that Olympus have set up their West Midlands training academy in Birmingham, close to where I live, at the Birmingham Open Media collaborative workspace in the Fotofilia studio run by David Rann.

The Training Academy is the brainchild of Damian McGillicuddy, Olympus Principal Photographer, and aims to grow and develop peoples interest in making images rather than just buying cameras that never actually get taken out of their camera bags. Whilst the workshops are camera agnostic there is usually Olympus gear available to have a play with if you don’t own any of their equipment.

This weekend I attended the second workshop to run at the West Midlands Training Academy which was given by David Rann and Paul Spiers. The purpose of the workshop was portfolio building so a model was on hand (Liliana Elizabeth) to take some pictures of while David and Paul demonstrated various lighting set ups. The session started with basic studio lighting (one studio flash fitted with a softbox), progressed to adding a background light then switched to using three Olympus FL-600R flashguns, without modifiers, to show the effects that could be achieved with off-camera flash alone.  Here are three images from the session illustrating each of these lighting setups.

One Key Light with Softbox

Key Light with Softbox

Key Light with Softbox and Background Light

Three Off-Camera Flashes (with Gels on Background Lights)

Off-camera flash is something I’ve been playing around with for a while and it was interesting to see the power of a small flash system such as is offered by Olympus; especially the ability to control several flashes directly from the camera and therefore avoid having to wonder around changing each flash setting individually when you want to modify the light.

The good thing about these workshops is you not only get to play around with different equipment in a ‘safe’ environment but also get to meet fellow photographers; always a bonus to actually meet people in the flesh as it were, rather than just via social media.

All in all an enjoyable morning of photography and I look forward to other events at the Olympus Training Academy in the future.

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