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October saw us put on a fantastic fashion flash course at a wonderful location in Liverpool. Due to the amazing success of our France courses over the last few years we thought we would mark the anniversary of the last France course with a very special day of training at a very cool yet creepy location. I had been looking as we always are for a location for quite a while and stumbled on this place by chance through a ghost tour web site ! After finding out who now owns this venue I made a short call to the owner and a day was set for me to go and take a look, lets just say I wasn’t disappointed! This now closed down former hospital | orphanage | asylum is now privately owned and offers some great shooting if you look in the right places.

The date was set and the course went out to our facebook group and then onto the site for general release. As the places filled we started to plan the day – these courses take  a lot of planning and meticulous styling. We knew that our resident makeup artist | Stylist & hair dressers Zan Atkinson was to be onboard on this one and we set to work looking for period outfits and pieces that would compliment the shoot. It is a fine line when shooting in a place like this that you want  to do it justice and not just dress people in theatre or bikinis! So when we stumbled across an amazing shop in Coventry in the newly opened Fargo village called Heaven Vintage we knew the owner Angela would understand exactly what we needed and she wasn’t to disappoint. We had some great pieces , a 1920′s wedding dress, original Edwardian hats and clothing from Victorian era aswell as some more modern pieces that we could ad to the mix including a very vogue like underskirt that Zan had made from a wedding underskirt! Models were Jen Brook who I hadn’t worked with for  a few years but we knew that her look would be perfect for a job like this and she didn’t disappoint. Model Milly from Nemesis model agency in Manchester was also onboard with a unique look that would also work great with the environment. So the day crept up on us as fast as the days are getting shorter and we were ready to go…

The kit was sorted a few days before making sure we had ample batteries and lights – with help from The Flash Centre lending us the equipment that we didn’t have we were set to go. After filling up my car & James’s car – my assistant with coffee machine | sandwiches | cookies oh and yes the lighting equipment we headed off to Liverpool to start our epic day. After arriving we had a little time for myself and James to take a look around and make a plan , although plans are there to be broken! Whilst Zan started work on our first look with Jen the photographers started to arrive  and over coffee and cookies & doughnuts ( thanks to neil!! ) we went through the equipment and then went for a walk around so that they could get a feel for the place and we could start to plan our shots out a little.

The first look was ready with Jen looking the part we took our time with the first look showing the photographers how to plan a shoot and to look at layering the lights, to give the lighting purchase and meaning not just on the subject but around the subject too.

 

 

 

Lit with a large 6ft Elinchrom Octa bank and two small beauty dishes, with the help of a little orange gel and a haze machine we had this one licked!

After setting up shot number two in the corridoor we came back into the main hall where our kit was and thanks to haze machine the sunlight was streaming through the window in such a way that you only ever see on huge movie sets! So needless to say we took Milly from her set to this to not waste this opportunity! Using the sunlight as our main light we made sure the shadows of Milly were nicely filled in with the 6ft Octa which is my main weapon of choice for fashion work!

 

Make sure you get down to the end of the post for some great behind the scenes shot by my assistant James and also numerous photogs on the course. With the room buzzing with excitement from this shot and the great start we had made to the day everyone grabbed a coffee and a sandwich , a few of the photographers going for a walk around to other floors to see what they could find!

After a quick lunch our model Jen was ready with her second look and we headed off down to the lower floor of the asylum where the laundry rooms were. Using very feathered lighting we shot Jen against an old ironing station with an old stretch dummy body used to steam shirts over. This made a great background and went with the edwardian – steam punk look we were going after. Using a strip box with Elinchrom Ranger RS Speed AS pack  & one small beauty dish with a shower cap on to diffuse the light.

 

 

After a super quick change we went off track and went into the tiny room next door where they used to dry the clothes with the old hangers still roped to the roof. Jen quickly on set changed into an amazing 1910 | 1920′s wedding dress  - very fragile dress too from Angela’s own collection at Heaven Vintage. Using one Elinchrom Ranger RX pack and one light with a 70cm softbox we put one light next door through the window and one light in the room itself with a beauty dish – gridded to give a little bounce back and edge light to the model. Jen worked this to perfection and in the near pitch black everyone took their turn to shoot how they wished.

 

 

 

We then left the room and headed off for a coridoor where some natural light spilled in and took model Milly with her second look. This was a simple shot with no flash , finding an old mirror work perfectly – shooting wide open on a Canon 50mm 1.2L lens made for a super soft look to a very eerie image!

 

 

Working our way down the coridoor we used another simple background for effect , then giving the modle a breather as I think the haze machine used previously had got to her a little! This time shooting through an old smashed glass doorway , using simple doorway light to one side I used the doorframe to frame the subject.

 

 

We then took Jen outside who was now ready with her 3rd look. Zan was working as fast as she could to get the girls ready for us so we could keep on going. It is a challenge when you are teaching in such a place as you want to teach people what you are doing but you also want people to be able to shoot for themselves. At the end of the day it is a day of teaching, a day to watch, shoot, listen and take inspiration to go away and practice these techniques to do this for yourself in your own way and style.

We headed off outside for Jens look using an old doorway with elaborate ( cobweb) style glass above,keeping this one simple as we could with just one light , a 70cm softbox to override the ambiance.

 

 

 

With the day quickly getting away from us we headed off to probably one of the most eerie places of the whole site. A room where the main oven for the hospital was situated and I’m not talking food either! The main cremation ovens sit in a unit by themselves and were heavily used in there 35 years of service. We used the room next door to them. A place where old gurneys were stacked up and a chapel sat untouched for years. Our model Milly stood motionless and stared straight ahead going for  avery strong look Zan our stylist draped a long piece of black lace over her to give a unique feel to the image with bright red lips completing the look. With time running out we took turns with the light again using just one head with a gridded softbox on it.

 

 

I knew the deadline was coming thick and fast for us to leave so we headed off to the old swimming pool house for our last look. Jen was ready and stood in the middle of the room. With  the floor slightly wet and muddy from an open roof the light offered a little reflection on the ground in front of her which was great. Using the large 6ft Octabank and again a small beauty dish for separation, a little haze from the haze machine which James had managed to wire up with a few extension sockets from the main hospital! I could have stayed in this room forever as the scene was perfect. Zan had crafted a hand made boned underskirt with original vintage corsets from Heaven Vintage completed the look.

 

 

 

A simply amazing day that I would say will go down as one of our best training events ever. On par with France for sure! Everyone chipped in to get all the kit outside of the venue with our 6pm deadline ( strict deadline) approaching. A huge thank you to all that made it down to this event and as well as getting some great images I hope you all learned some different techniques to take away and use for your own work. Although this was a one off course we are currently looking at another venue for a possible Fashion II course that will again push the boundaries of what is achievable on a day of photographic training.

A huge thank you to Angela from Heaven vintage, to Zan Atkinson for the hours she put in before and during the day. To James Davies for assisting on the day and being  a human donkey!  To The Flash Centre for suppling us with some equipment for the days events. A great team up there in Leeds and if you ever need anything talk to Russ or Graham and they will sort out! Thanks to models Jen Brook and Milly from Nemesis model agency in Manchester. Watch out on the training page | courses for our next set of training days that you won’t want to miss.

Join us on our fantastic closed Facebook Training group – a great place to be and be inspired! Join me on Twitter @brettharkness and also on Instagram as Brett Harkness to see what we get up to here at BHP headquarters and on our daily shoots. If you were on this course then leave a comment at the bottom to tell others of your day!

Here are some behind the scenes images from the day and also a little video shot by one of the photographers on the course. Thanks to the photographer on the day that have let us use some BTS images below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Neil Proctor for snapping some video throughout the day whilst shooting!

5 comments
  • Glenn (10.07.2014 | 10:48)

    A thrilling, entertaining and most educational experience. One from which I will draw much inspiration. Thank you to all involved!

  • Jen Brook (10.07.2014 | 11:04)

    A brilliant day made all the better by exceptional styling in an incredible location with people that would go above and beyond to create a great photograph. Of all the training days I have been a part of, this certainly sits amongst my most favourite ever.

  • Cathy Higgins (10.08.2014 | 12:01)

    What an amazing venue. You can do sooo much with it. Love the styling and the compositions of the images. Very fitting for the location. Great work Brett. Would love to attend the next one. Will bring Brian too.

  • Neil Proctor (10.08.2014 | 06:05)

    Awesome describes everything about this day, from the location to the models, MUA and stylists

    Awesome experience, a day packed with information and techniques from one of the best photographers in the business, set in a location to die for.

    Of the training courses that I have been in, this is right up there at the top. I would love to do the whole day again.

    Nice one Brett and James, you guys are exceptional

  • Matt Selby (12.10.2015 | 03:27)

    Looks amazing! Think I need to get on the next asylum course! :)

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brettharkness_photography_training_elinchrom

This March saw us shooting at the wonderful Arley Hall in Nantwich in Cheshire for our two – 1 day wedding courses. Starting off with coffee & pastries I spent the morning session going through our business in detail. Looking at workflow, brochures, wedding fairs, client contact, sales and so much more. Giving us enough time to work with the Bride & Groom in the main bridal bedroom looking at natural light and getting the most out of the quick session after the bride has got ready.

Keeping things simple early on in the wedding is best!

After a fantastic lunch we headed off outside to numerous different location over the two days. Working in the grounds of Arley and also the little church that sits on the grounds. Looking at using simple flash, balancing it with the ambiance , over riding the ambiance mastering the technique of using Off Camera Flash. Using flash at Fashion or advertising shoots is a lot different when you have more time. With our weddings time with the B&G is premium and we have to work fast so we concentrate on techniques that you can execute very quickly when under pressure.

The  2 days were great fun and everyone had time with the B&G to shoot but most of all to ask questions all day on different aspects of their own business and method of shooting. The point of our courses for me is to teach people a method, to inspire people to push there own businesses & photography into different places. To create a style that is themselves and unique to them. This is what we all crave for and our desire to push our own photography into different places should be the driving force behind any successful photographic business. If you want to see what other photographers got up to on the day then check out the two links below!

http://www.warrenbutlerphotography.co.uk/brett-harkness-all-about-weddings/

http://www.jdaviesphotography.co.uk/latest-news/arley-hall-wedding-training-brett-harkness/

We also due to demand ,have another wonderful day planned at the stunning Arley Hall. So why not join us for  a day that just may change the way you look at the wedding world forever! CLICK HERE for more information..

A huge thank you to :

Location: Arley Hall

Styling & Hair/Make up – Zan Atkinson

Dresses: Novakks Exclusive Bridal Wear

Models: Nemesis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few images from behind the scenes.. Thanks to James Davies for these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment
  • Martin Makowski Photography (11.30.2015 | 05:22)

    Great photos Brett. I love the shot of the groom on top of the ladder. Awesome work.

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bhptraining

Last week saw us at the wonderful venue of The Mansion in Leeds in the amazing setting of Roundhay Park. A huge thank you to all that made it there and for James Davies for writing up this brilliant blog post. So good I thought I would just link to it!!

http://www.jdaviesphotography.co.uk/latest-news/brett-harkness-photography-training-day-mansion-house/

Thanks to Lee for assisting on the day. Huge thank you to Zan Atkinson for her amazing styling and to Novakks Bridal Lounge for our gorgeous dresses. Of course to Emma & Nic for their modelling and for putting up with the cold so well! Also thank you to all the people at The Mansion for making us feel so welcome..

 

Here are some of the images that I shot on the training day but if you want to see what other people shot then take a look at James’s link above to read more about our great day of BHP training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment
  • Adrian Harvey (11.27.2013 | 12:26)

    She's a very beautiful subject and it looked like a good day light-wise to capture these images. Great looking shots!

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brett_harkness_training

Our fantastic year of training continues with a visit to Newcastle. This course was organized from my Facebook Training Group with a bunch of photographers asking if we could come up to Newcastle for day of training.

You ask & we shall come! This is the second time this yer we have visited Newcastle for training and great fun was had by all. A huge thank you to Novak Bridal Lounge & Grooms room for the beautiful dress. To join our FB Training group click here.

 

 

Shot with just daylight, exposing for the sun and getting the bride to look into the sun but close eyes is a great way of using the sun with a super bright background.

 

Shot using an Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS pack and a 70cm softbox with grid.

 

 

Again using the power of the Ranger kit and a 70cm softbox with the bride stood high on a statue base!

 

Shot using canon 50mm 1.2 and just holding the veil infront of her face in the wind

 

Again using Elinchrom Ranger pack with a very squashed grid so as to not spill light anywhere but the bride..

 

 

If you are interested in learning how to achieve images like this then checkout our training page & go to courses for more info on what courses we have coming up still in 2013!

 

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June saw us host an amazing one day course in Oswestry, in north Wales. Due to the amazing success of our last course we held there last year we decided to secure the venue for another day course. Using mainly off camera lighting techniques and Elinchrom equipment using some of the amazing rooms at this great venue to compliment the models clothes & look.

Photographers had a chance to spend some time with each girl to practice some of the techniques that were passed on during the session.  It was all about keeping the lighting classic and looking at backgrounds that complimented the clothes and simple , elegant look of the models. The techniques that we used on this course were fashion based yes, but techniques none the less that can be used in all aspects of social photography. Taking these techniques into weddings, family & commercial shooting is the next step for the photographers that were present on the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little video showing us shooting on the day:

Brett Harkness Training – Off camera Fashion flash training from Brett Harkness on Vimeo.

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Last month saw us visit the zoo for a days documentary photography. This tough day was a test for everyone with only 50mm lenses being allowed as our weapon of choice! Normally you would visit a zoo with a big zoom to get great shots of the animals but not today!

The point of today’s courses was to teach the photographers how to shoot documentary of the animals with only a short focal length lens.Looking at how to see, how to frame, how to use leading lines to take the viewer into the shot. About using extreme framing to draw the eye in and using techniques that allow you to document every day events with a style and look that can become your own. Using amongst other things exposure as a weapon when photographing scenes of very different & extreme exposures. I use all of these techniques in my every day shooting allowing me to use primes in all kind of situations.

Here are a few images from the days course. Our new Autumn courses are coming out on the website this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Looking how to fill a frame with important elements in order to take the viewers eye to the subject.

Using color and timing as an important element to the composition.

 

 

 

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brettharkness

It has been a couple of years since Bjorn has visited us at the studio so it was great to see him again. This time he brought his daughter & friend from Norway for their works experience! Not bad ! Over two days we looked at his imagery, ways to make what he does already even better! The use of different light modifiers, using the ambiance and other light sources.

Lighting is a very personal thing and I think everyone should have their own way of doing things. I certainly do and it has taken a while to bring that in and make it my style. Whilst there is a lot of information taught over a 1-1 session it is very important that you take the information back and mold it into your own style, make your imagery synonymous with you. A big thank you to Bjorn for coming over from Norway, it was a pleasure to see you again. Maybe see you in Norway for a wedding course soon!!

If you are interested in our 1-1 sessions then contact the studio for more information or take a look at the 1-1 page on the training site.

 

 

Image taken using Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS kit & Deep Octa Box

 

Image shot with Elinchrom Ranger RX speed & Large Indirect Octabank 190cm

 

Shot using Octabank, with Emma stood against it in the street

 

Image shot with Ranger Pack & Maxi Spot Reflector 29˚ 40 cm. The same shape as the Maxi Lite Reflector, but produced with brilliant, glossy reflection material for very high efficiency, throws light even over longest distances. A narrow powerful beam creates deep, sharp shadows.

 

Shot using Ranger RX speed pack, 70cm softbox with grid, 1 – 70 cm softbox bounced & Quadra head with Snood for background.

 

Taken just using 2 Fluorescent lights above Emma, with K scale input for WB.

 

Image showing Octabank in use

 

5 comments
  • Kwame Asiaw (05.24.2012 | 02:35)

    loving the seperation on the street shots. the model properly 'pops' off the screen. that the back streets of Manc city centre Brett?

  • rob (05.24.2012 | 04:08)

    Awesome work guys

  • Bjorn H Stuedal (05.25.2012 | 07:35)

    Finally back in Norway. Thanks for the two days of training - and once again thanks for being so generous sharing your knowledge.

  • David (06.01.2012 | 01:55)

    These images really do pop in quite a spectacular fashion. Great stuff!

  • Natallia (07.31.2013 | 12:59)

    Beautiful selection Brett!

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london0230

Yesterday was an early start with a 7am train journey to London for our first ever documentary course in London. A huge thank you to Dot, Debbie, Helen, Guy & Chris for joining us on this day. Documentary photography is without a doubt one of the hardest genres of photography to master & to teach.

A lot of the moments are over so quickly that it is hard to share that moment but you can teach techniques to make an image once you see that moment. For me documentary photography by its definition is to document the happening of something. To stop someone in the street and take their picture is not documentary , it is environmental portraiture. A different thing altogether. I did make each photographer approach someone and try and get a portrait so there was a little of that also but most of the day was about looking at the ordinary , looking at a situation and making an image from it. Everyone was armed with a 50mm lens so we were all looking at the same thing. It was not the aim of the day to photograph all that is London particularly but to use the streets to make imagery from it. A lot of the imagery have people in them, some don’t and it is all about looking at something in a different way and I hope that’s what we did throughout the day.

Making pictures not taking pictures, a huge difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick group shot before the heavens opened!!

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments
  • Kathryn Widdowson (04.04.2012 | 06:35)

    Expect the unexpected with this set of work. Love the humour and the observations. Fave shot has to be the taxi driver/athlete!

  • Debbie Raines (04.04.2012 | 09:01)

    Having been lucky enough to share yesterday with Brett . I must say it was THE most fantastic day. Not just to see him at work, but because he is the most inspiring, knowledgeable, generous and all round top bloke who really takes the time to make sure you get something from it as well. I can also say that Brett's images looked liked that on the back of camera!! I will post mine in a couple of weeks after I've edited them!! ;o)

  • Max Fauchard (04.04.2012 | 09:02)

    How I love to take photos in London. Those are amazing. They literally talk. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Kim (04.04.2012 | 09:17)

    What a fantastic set of images.

  • simon (04.04.2012 | 11:41)

    Sterling!!!! What else can I say? A true master as always!!!

  • Dot (04.07.2012 | 06:32)

    What an extraordinary day with Brett !!!

    Brett was able to see, compose and shoot with amazing resuts every time and happy to share and talk about his vision and images

    I think everyone learnt a lot on the day

    Thanks you so much Brett and thanks to all the great people on the course who made it a fun day too

    Happy Easter to Mum, Dad and baby !!!

  • Helen Perry (04.18.2012 | 01:44)

    Hi, I would love to have done this course in London. Please do another, soon :-) I think improving your documentary work on the streets will help improve your documentary in everything you do.

    Debbie said the photos looked as above straight out of camera. So I am wondering, do you shoot in jpeg? I shoot in RAW and find my images are quite flat and need to be processed to give them punch. Am I right in thinking that even if you alter the saturation, contrast etc settings in camera, if you shoot RAW, it is uneffected? Are those settings just for jpegs?
    Thank you in advance, Helen.

  • Becky Male (01.28.2013 | 10:01)

    Love these - would love to know if you run another course like this.

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bretth

Wow, what a day we had yesterday at the beautiful location of Danesfield House outside of Marlow. The sunshine greeted the photographers as we spent the morning session drinking coffee, eating shortbread and talking about our imagery, business method and wedding tactics!

 

We then got on with with some great shooting, using the venue inside & out. A lot of information was passed on during the days session. As it is on all of our courses. I like to teach in as simple a fashion as possible. Straight talking!! We looked at flash, off camera, first dance, posing, communication! Using daylight! Don’t forget that!! Working with a couple and getting the best out of them in as quick a time as possible. All packed into a great day of learning with yummy sandwiches & shortbread thrown in!!

A big thank you to models, Dan Dewhirst , Gemma & Rosie MacPherson for being great to work with and were appreciated by all concerned. As every a huge thank you to make up , Hair & styling guru Zan Atkinson who makes my images smile!! Also to Danesfield House for making us feel very welcome the entire day!

Dresses by Novakks & headpieces by Victoria Mary Vintage. We will be putting on another course at Danesfield House later on in the year, August time. If you are interested please get in touch now. We also have some amazing courses coming up around the UK & Europe with some places still left on our Fabulous French course in October. For more info on all of our courses PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

Here is a little footage from behind the scenes at our wedding training day.

5 comments
  • Alison Grainger (03.21.2012 | 05:11)


    Morning, Brett!

    Many, many, many thanks to you and the team for an astoundingly good day at Danesfield yesterday.

    A fantastic, full-on, amazing day. I'm shattered but exhilarated, my head's buzzing and I'm raring to get started on my next wedding. Also mildly depressed because I want to do it over and over again.

    Bless you x

  • Julian Stumm (03.21.2012 | 06:45)

    Great to see you again yesterday. Once again you delivered the goods, in a straightforward way that will enable me to take my wedding photography to the next level in terms of it's creativity.

    I am itching to get out there and practice what we did yesterday. I have roped in my wife as a model and kids as lighting assistants for me to have a play around.

    The images I personally got, and from looking at other delegates work, we all got, certainly had the wow factor. That's just what's needed to create separation in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.

    Thank you once again for a very fun day\'s training packed from start to finish with practical information that will really make a difference.

    Julian

  • Michelle Winstanley (03.21.2012 | 07:05)

    Just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for a superb training day at Danesfield, Marlow on Monday. It was an outstanding learning experience from start to finish, hugely challenging for me but very rewarding in the knowledge and images I now have. i loved every minute of it and watching the video wish I was doing it all again!! thanks again and see you and your team soon.

    Michelle :)

  • Exeter Wedding Photography (10.14.2012 | 11:36)

    Good strong images, like the use of strobes and the back light couple on the chairs.

  • Natallia (07.31.2013 | 01:00)

    Just loving the dancing shot!

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bhp12

So what seems like a lifetime ago now since our wonderful France course. I have finally got some time to post about the second day of shooting on our amazing time spent at the wonderful Chateau Rigaud.

Back at the beginning of October we spent a fantastic few days at this wonderful chateau outside of Bergerac/Bordeaux in France. We started the 2nd day having breakfast in the dining room of the chateau whilst our first model of the day , local model Laure Cizeron spent her time in make up and styling whilst we went through equipment with the photographers.

A big thank you to make up, Laura Cawte who did  a great job throughout the 2 days shooting with Kristie making sure all the models looked exactly as we wanted them to. A huge thank you also to The Flash Centre for the loaning of some wonderful equipment, very much appreciated and used! If you missed PART 1 & PART 2 please click on the day to view the story so far.

We started off with Laure outside just getting her used to use and more importantly us used to her!! She was great and gelled in with the group straight away. Using only a wall we looked at exposure, framing and interaction when language is a barrier.We then moved onto a few different backgrounds , a tree and also some of the vineyards that surround the chateau before heading back to the chateau. We got a couple of lights out , one as a back light and did a few shots before we ventured back.

 

 

A few shots from behind the scenes at the set ups up to this point. Thanks to Guy Levine & Ross Holkham for sending in some great BTS shots..

 

Paul wearing the models hat! Very fetching!!

 

 

 

We then moved inside for a quick coffee & cake! Before starting the second model for the day, Idoiaa. We had two very different but equally great looks going on this second day but because we had gone through a lot of information on day 1 we could concentrate on ironing out any problems people had with their shooting & flash and letting people shoot more.

Here is a little video from the first AM session:

Brett Harkness Training in France Day 2 am session from brett harkness on Vimeo.

Starting off inside we took Idoiia, into one of the darkest corners of the chateau! Looking at creating a more specific shot to match the surroundings. Teaching people how to match the exposure to the ambient surroundings without “killing it”.

 

 

A few shots from behind the scenes at this shot showing the equipment used:

We then went back inside using the window in the main dining room, starting off without any flash and again looking at exposure. We then set up one head on the right hand side of the Laure and looked at balancing and over riding the ambiance with it whilst Idoiia got changed for her next session.

Starting off in the Dining room we were looking to shoot against the light using a situation that could easily be replicated anywhere else! As long as you are not on the top floor!

 

A few pictures taken at this session…

 

We then headed into the dining room for a great rustic French lunch, chilling out with a few glasses of wine for good measure. A few us got the equipment ready for our next set up in the long room at the chateau.Using a mixture of daylight and our Elinchrom kit everyone got a mini session with Idoiia, un, deaux, trois!

 

 

A quick shot from BTS:

 

Here is a little video from this part of the session:

Brett Harkness Photography Training PM session from brett harkness on Vimeo.

By this time we had had an amazing three days at the chateau, shooting hundreds of images and passing on a lot of information. We had decided to go out on a bang and finish off shooting in a dead sunflower field using the huge Elinchrom Octabank, measuring 190cm across. This amazing light modifier is not for the faint hearted but we knew that the light quality that it would give out would be something very special and different so we couldn’t resist using it. After we managed to erect it we set up our last shot in the field…

The huge Octabank we used for our final image. Invented in 1982, their unique patented construction and design have won these large lightweight softboxes worldwide popularity. A lightweight die cast rigid central mounting for the flash head inside the unit which places the flash tube at the point of focus. The optical result is a light source, which is so even at the diffuser surface, that many famous photographers use the Octa as a single light source for portrait photography.

Me posing with my new best friend!!

 

Paul with a UFO landing on his head…!

 

The image produced with the single light source…

 

A little video clip showing our last set up..

Untitled from brett harkness on Vimeo.

Our last Group shot…

 

Wow, so what a few days we had this year in the amazing surrounding of Chateau Rigaud outside of Bordeaux. A huge thank you to everyone that made it down to the course. It is one to be remembered that’s for sure. A lot of information was passed on, a lot of questions asked, a lot of wine drunk! A lot of images taken, equipment used and a WHOLE lot of fun had! It was great for people to be able to spend some time together after the training, spending quality time with like minded people is something that not everyone gets the chance to do, it is a big part of our training courses that they are great social events also. We encourage all levels on our courses as we think that everyone can learn, whether full time pro’s or part time amateurs. So make 2012 a special year and book your training with BHP studios.

Here are some video testimonials from the photographers on the course…

The Last supper… Brett Harkness Training from brett harkness on Vimeo.

We are about to release some very exciting new dates for our courses for next year. So if these last few posts have inspired you and you want to take part in some great training next year then watch this space!

 

Read what people said about this course:

 

“un, dos, tres!! Fromage!!  Just got back from a wedding (nice sunset but not like France) to find this great email, can’t wait till the next adventure, the only problem you will have is that in the words of Joyce “nobody else can book unless one of us dies” lol.   Think we could make a book of quotes from the trip and the banter was nearly as good as the photography.”

Ross Holkham

“I just wanted to drop you both a quick note to say a huge thank you for the most fantastic few days in France…
I had the time of my life – so much fun with great friends, the most beautiful cool location, fantastic food, wine & great training as always…
Some very special memories & the image of man’s attempts to fly in a sunflower field with an octobox is one I’ll remember for quite some time!
Thanks again so much & I’ll get some photos over to you asap – see you very soon!”
Joyce

Sharon (11.07.2011 | 11:50)

Hello! I’ve really enjoyed watching all the clips !
I must do something with my hair next time! Ha. Thanks again for the best course EVER ! I learnt SO much and am enjoying putting it all into practise. Put me down for next year and i hope to see the same people again… It was great spending three days with everyone. Sharon x

3 comments
  • Paul mannion (11.25.2011 | 01:43)

    Well i'm going to booking on the next course learn't so much on this wonderful course great location models and inspiration from the Harknesses Thank you so much!!

  • Ross (11.25.2011 | 10:40)

    lol....I had forgot about the "hear no evil, speak no evil,see no evil" shot...classic. Great round up of a fantastic time mate, heres to the next adventure!!

  • Katherine Ashdown (12.01.2011 | 03:16)

    Yay! LOVE the last post such an awesome course brought it all back... cannot wait to do it again! Ross's. My video is SO embarassing!!

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bhp

A quick post from my shoot last night. Influenced by Joey L and his street portraits this is the first time I have taken my lights onto the streets. We set up a piece of a grey paper backdrop in front of a friends garage and waited to see who turned up! It was great fun just looking to capture some real life portraits on Halloween night!

I used my Elinchrom Ranger RX speed pack with a 70cm softbox with a soft honeycombe grid. The grid cut down most of if not all of the modelling light so I had to put in a naked light on the B channel so as to help me focus. The shots were taken on 200 ISO , 160th sec @f16.

I have a few more things that I am working on at the moment apart from our “work” photography so watch this space for some more cool imagery over the next few months. A big thanks to Craig & Anna for letting me use their drive way for the shoot and for everyone that turned up for being such great sports.

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE SHOWING THE SET UP. YOU DON’T NEED MUCH TO MAKE THINGS WORK!

 

5 comments
  • Melissa Beattie (10.31.2011 | 06:54)

    This is why I love Halloween. It is so under rated in the UK! Plus I hope to meet Joey L in March - awesome photographer.

  • Chris Thornton (11.01.2011 | 11:27)

    Cool! Love it. If i tried that with the kids where I lived though they'd beat me up and steal my lights.....and my sweets! Ha Great concept Brett Harkness. Very good.

  • Henry Aarvold (11.01.2011 | 11:29)

    Holy crap! Grey background paper portraits. Not sure you'd have entertained that idea 6 years ago! How times have changed eh? damn fine work too.

  • Peter Williams (11.01.2011 | 11:30)

    Brilliant! :) Great work!

  • Graham Fletcher-Hill (11.24.2011 | 08:37)

    Fab idea and I love it, feels very spontaneous. I get loads of work shooting the images for Farmaggedon this time of year, an ever growing industry to be involved with and great fun too :-) Cheers for always inspiring.

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Untitled-1

It has been a few weeks since I had time to write any posts but that doesn’t mean we have been twiddling out thumbs with nothing to post. Quite opposite. In the last three weeks, we have driven to France & back, Barcelona & Glasgow, oh and three trips to London!! It is back to the first place that this post is written about. So as there is a lot of content I will probably split this post up into two or three parts!!

 

So,on October 9th after shooting a wedding in Devon we headed off for the Channel tunnel and our trip down to Bordeaux in France. The Channel experience was great and we arrived in Calais only 28 mins later! A rainy and foggy Calais it has to be said but the weather vastly improved the further South we travelled. Our destination was the beautiful Chateau Rigeaud in the St.Emillion area. We had hired the chateau for 3 days for our course. We had been planning this course for many months and it was very important that we looked at all the finer details of the 3 night course. We are known for putting on a good show and have put on courses in Newcastle & 3 in London over the last year. When you are dealing with models abroad and organizing from a far it’s always hard.

I had photographed my sisters wedding a few years ago at the Chateau and we knew that this was the place to use when the right time arose. A big thank you to Anna from the chateau for helping us source flowers & make up amongst other things. Moment to thank them, flowers by Hayley Sutherland & make up by Laura.

It was the first time we had driven to France using the Channel Tunnel and it was a great experience and we will definitely do it again. Like a typical man I did get rather excited!!

So, after a 10 hour drive, a few stops, many coffees and a load of chatting and planning for future projects Kris & I made it to St.Emillion. Here are a couple of shots of our very very full car and all the kit before hand in the studio..

 

Most of the kit was mine but may I take this opportunity to thank The Flash Centre for loaning me some kit for the course also. They are are a great bunch and I choose them for all of my lighting kit needs. Here is a brief list of the kit that we took:

  • Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS pack ( 2 heads )
  • Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed pack ( 2 heads )
  • Elinchrom Quadra pack x 2 & 4 heads
  • Elinchrom Deep Octa / 2- 70cm softboxes
  • Elinchrom High performance reflector 48˚
  • Elinchrom Beauty Dish 44cm
  • Elinchrom Indirect Lightbank Octa 190cm
  • Elinchrom Snoot reflector & grid
  • Various batteries
  • Canon EOS 1ds Mark III & 5D mark II for video
  • Avenger 10ft stand with 40″ boom / An amazing Boom arm that goes to over 11 ft
  • Canon 70-200/ 50mm 1.2 / 16-35mm 28 /
  • Think tank belt system & travel bags
  • Lexar 16GB 600 speed CF cards

 

 

When Kristie & I arrived at the chateau we were greeted with champagne and cake!! Music to my ears!! After freshening up we went for a walk and a drive around the chateau looking for places to plan out for our shoot. Finding some very cool places. We then set up most of the kit and got all the clothes ready that we had bought or borrowed, matching up the outfits with the backgrounds that we had already scouted out.. Kristie modelling some of the clothes to give me a visual idea of how to piece things together…

 

 

May I also take this opportunity to make a big thank you Kate Edmondson for the loan of her beautiful wedding dresses, you will be seeing them in the next post & to Victoria Mary Vintage for her wonderful hair accessories. Also to Denis Hope for the loan of a great suit that fitted our male model perfectly!!

The aim of the course was not only to teach people how to use lights but also how to style, look at exposure and to create gorgeous images. We also wanted the course to be about more than learning. Whenever a group of photographers get together like this in this kind of environment it is a recipe for success. And the ingredients were all there! Everything we do at our studio whether training or our own shoots we do to the best of our ability. From our customer service to pushing the boundaries on our shoots; we live for what we do and this shows in not only the images that we produce but also how we feel when we are doing it!

Monday morning Kris & I set off in the mini bus to Bordeaux airport to pick up all of the photographers which were mostly flying in on the same early morning flight. We knew that it would have been too much to expect the delegates to start shooting as soon as they arrived so we laid on champagne and cake upon arrival and the photographers had the rest of the day to play with our equipment, take a book and a drink under the large tree at the front of the chateau, take a dip in the pool or rest in one of the beautiful rooms in the chateau, ot go for a walk around the vineyard…which many did, whilst a few made a splash in the pool!!

This is the first time I have ever used the 5d for video,we had no equipment with us for video or indeed any hands spare to do it with! It is an art by itself but we had fun trying when we could, the camera was usually left on a tripod and when people got the chance we all had a go! We also used mobile phones on occasion just to document our day, so the quality isn’t great so all you video buffs out there don’t judge us on our video skills! Next time I will certainly take a stabilizer rig with me but the course was about photography and for the time being we will stick to that!!

First group shot taken on a crappy phone, it’ll only get better!!

 

So the first day ended with us all having a great meal cooked by our own personal Chef Tom who also has his own great business The Flavoursmith! Who we all thank so much for feeding us over the 3 days, it was amazing.Waking up to a great breakfast every day, cake & cookies in the afternoon followed by 5 star food & service  every night. The talk was not only photography based but also many other topics floated around the room. The atmosphere was very easy going from the moment everyone arrived at the airport. With a great mixture of photographers and characters.

May I also thank Fiona and her team for looking after us at the chateau and for making our stay even more special. The night was spent drinking, chatting , laughing and planning the first days shooting to come….. Some chatting into the night with numerous bottles of wine being drunk! Here are some of the video highlights from the first day. I will be posting soon on day 2, our first shooting day!! Watch this space….

5 comments
  • Ross Holkham (10.29.2011 | 11:00)

    Good times with great people. look forward to day 2 and 3.

  • Paul Mannion (10.29.2011 | 11:48)

    Well put together Brett loved watching it, I really miss all the people and the great time we had over there!!!

  • Jade (11.02.2011 | 11:14)

    All looks amazing, hope you guys do another one next year!

  • Sharon (11.07.2011 | 11:50)

    Hello! I've really enjoyed watching all the clips !
    I must do something with my hair next time! Ha. Thanks again for the best course EVER ! I learnt SO much and am enjoying putting it all into practise. Put me down for next year and i hope to see the same people again... It was great spending three days with everyone. Sharon x

  • Red Chilli Photography (11.22.2011 | 10:39)

    Just packed up the car for a shoot this afternoon, 3 miles down the road and I'm glad you take too much stuff !! it's not just me then. Having said that the images from the shoot are worth it looking at your blog. James

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A true photographic phenonemon.Brett Harkness is a man in demand— Dan Lezano. Digital SLR Photography