#FinalPLUSpost Lighting With Intent
mentorship with +Eric Raeber #LightWIT
So... the end. Or, the beginning more like. The TL;DR summary of the lengthy post below is this - Eric runs a great mentorship, and if he runs one again, sign up. OK? (do it!) ;)
A few months back, I saw a post going around for signups for a new mentorship by Eric, being run as part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers
. To be honest, I didn't pay too much attention, as I was still finishing off the previous round of Scavenger Hunt. Then, as Scavenging was just finishing up, someone in that community re-shared it again. I had a proper read of his sign-up post, I did the finger counting of how many hours I had per week to dedicate, how much of the list of lighting items required I needed to buy (about £50 on a softbox and lightstand as I already had a few cheap lighting bits and pieces) and threw my hat into the ring.
What was to come over the next 9 weeks was enlightening, fascinating, and gave me a sore head at times (not just from the wine in week 4 lol!)
Eric came up with 9 very well written and easy to understand lessons with some great examples and assignments (well, in some cases, I had to re-read several times, but I have to do that anyway with other things, so more my problem than Eric's lol).
So we went through basic lighting in week 1, roaming the house in darkness with a flashlight to find interesting items to light through or off, defining hard and diffused light in week 2, light fall off and isolation in week 3, reflecting light in week 4 (also known as 'forcing the students to buy wine against their will' week, lol - we needed the wine after spending hours trying to stop what seemed like everything
reflecting off the f%^ing wine bottle and glass we had to shoot!!) So week 5, adding colour through gels (which was a week of revelation for me - I just love them!), week 6 showing motion in images and finding out about front curtains, rear curtains, of the camera kind, not bedroom), week 7, light painting - creating monsters and getting into trouble with the good lady wife for sitting naked on her leather seat!, week 8, reverse engineering of photos (I have an IOU for 1 photo from week 8), looking at the classic portraiture lighting styles, then the bombshell dropped for week 9, along with a draft creative brief for it to write up in week 8.
Ah week 9. Final week. The gift - A photoshoot for a friend, family, non-profit organisation or local business. A way to push out of comfort zones. So I didn't go too far out of the zone, as I decided to offer this shoot to a good friend, Colin 'Spider' MacKenzie, a top local blues harmonica player here in Aberdeen. However, up to this point, I've never taken photos of anyone outside my household, or my parents (who I've only taken a few informal shots of).
As a person afflicted lifelong with shyness (as opposed to just being an introvert) even this photoshoot with Spider was outside the zone a fair bit, and I was nervous and anxious about not making a total arse of myself with lighting equipment that I still am effectively a novice with! But Spider is a true gent, and helpfully also a photog, and double helpfully a photog with other Fuji lenses ;) I had a great time, and most importantly, he is happy with the shots! Now, on to standing in a public place offering to take passing stranger portraits! (I'm only half joking, I wrote a very precise plan for how to do such a thing in week 8 - only my shyness stops me currently).
I have learned so much in this mentorship, not just technically, but about myself. And hey, I did a photoshoot, and got some shots of my little girl my wife and I will treasure always. Oh yeah, we did a video hangout! I've been here 4 years and never been in one until this mentorship, lol (such a newbie).
In closing, I would like to personally thank all of my fellow mentees and community moderators for their camaraderie and advice, their willingness to share and their inclusiveness, and look forward to seeing how you all progress. Can't wait to see your week 9 creations!
As for Eric, I did portray him (jokingly - honest!) as a sort of Evil Leader (a Emperor Palpatine of G+ if you will - OK, I'd better stop that!!) but really could not have wished for a better mentor - always available, always willing to offer assistance, and always inspiring. Thanks Eric, for giving up your time for us and providing this opportunity for us all to grow as photographers.
And, relax.... :)