Style and Light: Arlene Collins Comes to Basho

Posted by on Jun 11, 2013 in Classes & Workshops, Interview | No Comments

Arlene Collins' Style and Light Workshop

Without light, there would be no photography. What happens, though, when light does not cooperate?

We’ve all been there: backlit subjects, high-contrast light, shadows, dusk fading rapidly into night. These situations are unavoidable, especially when you venture out of the studio and into the world to photograph.

In tough lighting situations, knowing how to balance your own light source to the available light becomes crucial to getting the shot you want.

Renowned photographer of world cultures Arlene Collins is coming to Project Basho on June 23rd and 24th to help you develop your photographic understanding and management of light in her Style and Light Workshop.

Arlene took a break from photographing the world’s civilizations to give Basho the skinny on her upcoming workshop:

How does your photographic experience relate to the Style and Light workshop?

I have always photographed on location under what most people would consider difficult light, rarely knowing what to expect in terms of lighting or exposure.  Understanding light, whether natural or artificial, takes the guesswork out of working on-location and allows you to concentrate on your style.

What kind of topics will be covered in the workshop?

I start by explaining the camera’s different metering modes, how to meter for different kinds of light, how to use an on-camera strobe (flash unit), and how to use multiple strobe unit off-camera with wireless triggering. Once the student has mastered the technical concepts, we concentrate on style and how to develop a “look” through lighting.

What level of photographer is best suited for this class?

An intermediate or advanced amateur who understands how to use the camera in the manual exposure mode will benefit, but more advanced photographs will also gain a better understanding of light and multi-strobe lighting set-ups for environmental portraits or working on location.

How will students improve after taking the class?

Students will gain more confidence in their technique, have a better understanding of their equipment, and be able to handle any lighting situation, even the most difficult.

What creates a difficult lighting situation?

A very high contrast lighting situation where you need to fill light into the shadows. With enough strobe power, this situation is a breeze to light.

What was the most difficult lighting situation you’ve encountered?

Usually a landscape or city scene with high contrast or when the subject is backlit. I just returned from Central Asia and in Uzbekistan, several of the sites were in shadow or backlit. The only way to photograph was at dusk.

Will someone without sources of artificial light benefit from this class?

Yes, they will learn to see the different available light sources and how to properly expose for them.

When do you make the decision to use artificial light?

I use strobe if the scene or the subject is too dark or in shadow and I need to add fill light, or if I want to add a highlight. My style is for the strobe to look natural and not to over-light the scene.

What activities should students expect during the class?

This is a hands-on workshop where students are encouraged to ask questions, show work, and photograph based on the lectures.

What would you like to share with potential students?

Understanding light and lighting, your camera, and how to use strobe units is not that difficult if you know what to do. Students will definitely leave the workshop feeling more confident with their own photography and will gain a greater understanding and appreciation when looking at photography in general. I have taught lighting all over the world; for examples of my lighting style visit my website:

Sign up for the Style and Light workshop today!

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