Field studio photography is an enticing field for many reasons, not least that it has a low-cost entry point and can be practiced locally. Over three weeks, Niall Benvie covers everything you need to know about making photographs of natural subjects on pure white, backlit backgrounds while taking you on a journey to explore the creative possibilities of these images.
Working in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, we cover subjects from equipment and capture to processing and compositing. You acquire lighting and post-production skills—including knowledge of flash modifiers, cross-lighting, brush options, and color sampling, among others—with wider application in other photographic arenas.
During week one, we learn about the work of photographers who've come before us, exploring field studio protocol as well as types of sets and equipment choices. Then we learn how to set up our gear and manage lighting. Participants produce five images using the protocol and import them into Lightroom for processing in the following session.
Our second week is a deep dive into Lightroom processes, including input sharpening, cropping, brushing corners out to white, and using the luminance slider. We also continue to produce images for further experimentation with compositing, color blending, and image scale and assembly. By week three, we are discovering the range of uses for color selection and typography, learning how Photoshop's brushes can create watercolor-style composites.
Join Niall in August to take advantage of showy flowers and abundant wildlife—crickets, frogs, beetles, moths, lizards, and worms—this glorious time of year offers, and discover natural history photography's exceptional scope for creativity as you produce distinctive, personal work in a field studio.