Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

Environmental portrait workshop with

It’s been a while now since I’ve led a photo workshop. But Pascal from the Photo International Club Zurich asked nicely earlier in the year and so we found a weekend which would work out for us both, when I led the second such course for club members. The course was entitled “environmental portraiture” and covered the subjects of  portraiture on location, with my usual leaning towards the use of flash illumination.

I exchanged most of my camera gear earlier in the year for a Fuji X-T1 with lenses, but I kept the Nikon SB900 flash gun and my PocketWizards “just in case”. As using them with a Fuji camera would’ve been a complication too far, I chose to borrow some Nikon gear from a friend for the workshop: luckily, the D7000 with which I shot so many photos between 2010 and the beginning of this year.

I dusted off my lighting gear at the end of last week and, after getting out of bed far too early on Sunday morning, headed for the Polyterrasse at Zurich university.

I was welcomed warmly by the keen attendees and after introductions, we ran through the processes involved in taking portraits or fashion shots on location; starting with the basics and moving through further techniques in turn. From finding a good scene for the shoot, to balancing ambient light and flash illumination, directing the models and finally aiming for more specific lighting effects. The workshop has given me the impetus to write blog posts on these processes: the first of them will follow soon.

Thanks to Pascal for the invitation, to the models and make-up artist for their hard work, and for the attendees for coming along. The club members are a friendly bunch and so if you’re in Zurich or the surrounding area, get in touch and join them to take part in meetups and events throughout the year.

Workshop attendees, Polyterrasse Zurich, 2015
Workshop attendees, Polyterrasse Zurich, 2015. Photo by Pascal Cornuez.

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