My all-day coaching session on 11th June 2011 took place in the grounds of the ETH at Hönggerberg in Zurich. I’ve used this location several times before thanks to the size and variety of potential areas in which to take photos; from modern architectural detail to green lawns and trees.

The first part of the day was set aside to cover the basics of lighting, using natural light and a variety of reflectors and techniques to achieve fashion and portrait shots. After lunch, I then took the techniques I’d covered in the morning session and applied them using an increasing number of hot shoe flash units, both on and off-camera. Starting with the basic single hot-shoe flash and the use of the camera’s own pop-up flash as a commander, we continued on adding light modifiers (in the form of snoots, umbrellas and softboxes) to create a range of effects.

After covering the more advanced topic of colour balancing and lighting in layers, there was time to set up a complex lighting scenario using one of the large pieces of artwork in the gardens and a quick, fun round-off to the day using natural light.

Many thanks to Melanie for being our model for the day.

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