Matt Martins Expo opens tonight…. from 6pm

Matt Martins exhibition Eat Well, Stay Fit and Die Anyway is opening tonight at Garage Studios. To keep with Matt’s Punk DIY Aesthetic we have made all the prints affordable. Every image is available in any of the 3 sizes, and the price of each is below. All prints are C-Types

12″x8″ £10-00
18″x12″ £20-00
24″x16″ £30-00

so please come down and support the artist and buy a print or two.
We also have a limited edition exhibition book available which is just £10- but be quick as they will sell out tonight…

Expo opens for Launch at 6pm- till late, and is open Saturday until late and Sunday till 6pm.

Portrait Lighting Tutorial.

As part of our continuing series of free tutorials we have another portrait session, this time with Brighton photographer Eleni Mettyear, who was shot by Kevin Mason. Again we will break down the lighting set-ups, the final shot, and the reasons behind the decisions made- hopefully this will continue to give you ideas how to incorporate some aspects of this into your own portrait work.

(Please note we are still working on the Tess Video tutorial- just trying to figure the most accessible format to deliver it to everyone.)

Kevin- I wanted to make a considered portrait of Eleni- I think she is an amazing individual, and although very lively has a calmness and strength to her as well. I deliberated with something that was monochrome, but instead chose to sculpt her face with coloured gels, which I think helped balanced the ‘contemplative’ image I had in my head before the session started.

The lighting in this is detailed below,

The background is a light grey colorama- changed to a deep yellow by gelled heads either side. A combination of beauty dish up high and 2 gridded strobes on camera right lit the subject, whilst a white bounce camera left, filled in the shadow.

To create a firm edge to Eleni, and to stop excess spill from the background light two black polyboards were used either side.

As you can see the set-up is quite restrictive, the lights effectively help to ‘control’ the subject, and leave less down to direction. Even so though we worked a lot on small details with the hair, the direction of the face, and the tightness of the frame. Kevin doesn’t crop images so it was essential to get a frame that worked and allows enough movement through it by the viewer without either becoming too cramped or too much space isolating the subject.

You can see some of the unedited variations below. Whilst shooting we did move a light to camera left- and you can clearly see the affect of this in some of the shots below- but then Markus suggested a White Polyboard to bounce and fill the shadow instead of a further strobe. This allowed us to keep the face as the dominant side of the frame, which was complimented by sweeping all the hair over Eleni’s left shoulder, helping flow through the image.

The final shot was then edited in PS to lift the tones and contrast but push back some of the individual colours about 10%.

The key here though is not to worry overly about the technical aspect- maybe try and set the lights in advance (you can shoot this with constant lighting and a tripod) but to concentrate then on getting some connection with the subject, or guiding them towards what you feel the image needs. A quick glance over the unedited shots can show you easily which images are more just a ‘likeness’ of someone rathe than a portrait that says something about the subject or to the viewer.

More soon, any comments/questions or areas you want clarified then please let us know, and we will also post another session next week.

Free Studio Lighting Tutorials

We will be posting some free Lighting tutorials via this blog and our vimeo account- with Video, Lighting Diagrams and hints and tips.

Yesterday Kevin worked on a very constructed lighting set-up to shoot Tess. The idea behind this is to make a ‘set’ using just lighting, whilst shaping the face and gaze of the subject. One of the final images is below and hopefully over the weekend we will get the full post up with the set-up, video of the lighting used, and some helpful diagrams so you can attempt this yourself.

Many thanks to Emma Hedges at Square Roots for the great HairStyling, and to Tess Dimos for modelling.

Lighting Kevin Mason and Markus our intern from Germany.

Tess Dimos by Kevin Mason

More Exhibitions in Brighton

Strange Places” - an exhibition

Three artists come together to present their off-kilter views of the world. Familiar scenes are painted in a new light, hidden places are explored and the strangeness of the everyday is revealed in its own eerie beauty.

Join us for an exhibition of
Mike Oddhayward
Erika Szostak
Graham Lally

Exhibition: 1st-7th Nov
Mon – Sat 09.00 – 19.00
Sun 10.00 – 15.00

Add the Colour
64-65 North Road
Brighton BN1 1YD

A Fruit Experiment

This is the first result from some hopefully ongoing collaborations with a good friend of mine Joseph Long. Joe is a talented visual artist currently working on his MA in Fine Art at the University of Brighton.

Joe originally came to me with an idea and recently both used some free studio time to work through the process. Joe has been working on a series about reactions and I (Matt) had been looking for a way to approach portraiture.

We both worked on the shoot for about 3 hours, working through a process to find what we both wanted from the image. From our initial much more violent discussions to gain a reaction from the sitter, we established a repeatable pattern in which we could be much more critical of the outcome.

By the end of the shoot we managed to produce an image which hopefully not only describes the instance in which somebody is hit, but also describes something more about role and position of both photographer and sitter. Faced with a camera, we hold ourselves in someway as we wish to be perceived, the reactions to the impact in this image over ride the subjects conscious decision to do this. The process to achieve this point took time, a lot of fruit, trust as well as relationship where photographer and sitter had to take an active and difficult role to make the image that they wanted.

Photographed by Matthew Halls, concept and subject Joseph Long

More of Joe’s work can been seen on his website he also has an exhibition of work in Room 313 at the University of Brighton Grand Parade starting today.

DSLR Course this weekend

The fabulous DLSR course is running this Sunday at Garage Studios taught by Matthew Halls.

If you’re a novice to the world of digital photography and are desperately trying to get your head around all the functions of your shiny new camera, or if you have been getting by on using only the basic functions for ages, but would really like to know what your camera is actually capable of then we can help you!

This is a full day course on Sunday 24th October, running from 10.30 am till approximately 5.00 pm and costing £85

If you would like more information or to book a place email or call us on 01273 609600

Matt Martin Exhibition Extended

Due to overwhelming demand we are now extending Matt Martin’s exhibition “Eat Well, Stay Fit and Die Anyway” for an extra day. The Exhibition will now run on Friday 29th to Sunday 31st October.

The Friday date is a Private View until 9pm, but then we will be open late and all are welcome.

There also be an invite only private view on the evening of Friday 29th. 6-9pm

For more information email or call us on 01273 609600

Portraiture Course Final Week

It was the final part of our portraiture course at Garage Studios last night, taught by Kevin Mason and me.

Over the last 3 weeks, we’ve concentrated on the work of various influential portrait photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Nadev Kander. We rounded off the course buy looking at the work of Larry Sultan, Noah Kalina, and Phillip Lorca Di Corcia.

Keeping in mind all of the work they’d seen over the last few weeks, we set the students the task of coming up with a portrait idea they wanted to shoot.

Follow this link to see what we were working on last week and check out some students images.

I worked with Morgan on this idea, setting up lighting accordingly to fit his night/street scene concept. It was a response to the style of diCorcia and Larry Sultan.

I replicated the light of street lamps and then created the red light Morgan wanted coming out from the door, which complemented the orange glow of the lights outside.

I used 3 lights with wide reflectors attached. There was a light on the left, close to the wall, high and pointing down slightly with an orange/yellow gel attached. I used this as a side highlight for the subject standing by the wall. I then used a 2nd light with all the same attachments, placed to the right of the camera, pushing light into the main subject (Markus). The power was higher than the others, as he was the main focus of the portrait. The 3rd light was medium power, with a red gel attached.

We only had 20mins to set up and shoot the scene. I feel we managed to get close to the idea that Morgan envisaged and am happy that his final image works very well for what he set out to achieve.

If you would like more information or if you want to book on the course email or call us on 01273 609600

Progressing on from this course, we are running the amazing studio lighting part I on 20th and 21st November. Get in touch


Product Photography Case Study

As an example of the varied work we do, we will be introducing case studies from each photographer. The first one is from Natasha- our in house product photographer.

Case Study:
Churchill Square Advertising Campaign

Client: We Are Bleach Design/Creative Agency
Shot by Garage Studios
Product Photographer:
Natasha Alipour-Faridani

26 Products to be shot on white background at numerous angles.
Products chosen and grouped for colour matched posters, eg all orange and red products together.
Lighting must be consistent and non-directional in every image.
Shadows to be added in post by Agency.
Files to be delivered as 16bit Tiffs.

The client came to us with 26 products to be shot on a white background, each photographed at different angles. They needed to be able to easily cut out the product images from the background with up to 4 variations of each product. The variation on angle allowed them unlimited placement when composite as adverts and banners.

As this was a packshot style shoot, I set up the white background, made sure it was evenly lit and then lit the products seperately.
Each product had a very specific wrap around light- so this would allow the designers to work without constraint.
The brief stated shadows of the products would be added in post once their design team knew each placement in the advert. It was important neither lighting or positioning would limit the clients options during post work.

Here’s an example of one of the products. I’ve collated the individual images to show the various angles I shot the products and the same even lighting throughout. It was essential to maintain a consistent light on every product. It was approximately 8 hours of solid shooting, to get through the 26 products.

Post shoot, I then sent the images as 16 bit tiffs of each product. The brief was explicit that no post work be done in-house to avoid profile, sharpening issues etc when handed to their design team.

Below are a few examples of their final designs which appeared on numerous banner adverts, flyers and billboards:

Photographer's Assistant Course places available

There are a few places left on the Photographer’s Assistant Course this Saturday 16th October.

This awesome half day course is for college/university Students and recent graduates aiming to give you the necessary skills to go out and find assisting work in the wonderful world of photography. The course is taught by Natasha Alipour-Faridani.

By the end of the session, you will feel confident in your understanding of what is required of you as an assistant, including in depth explanation of different qualities of light and the modifiers used to create them. The course also includes a comprehensive breakdown of all studio lighting, light metering, and concludes with creating a lighting set up for a portrait.

The cost of the course is only £35 if you would like more information, check out the courses section of our website, or email us now. or call on 01273 609699 to book your place