Stuart Wood - Lighting Masterclass - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Stuart Wood Published 10/04/2015


Aah, an azure blue sky and a spot of warm Mediterranean sunshine in November, while this Sceptred Isle witnessed the approach of another all too swiftly waning year, wrapped in it's usual grey army blanket of cloud.

Such was my good fortune last autumn when I was warmly welcomed as a speaker for the Malta Institute of Professional Photography Annual Convention.

Never previously having been to this ancient and strategically important island, that has been a vital crossroads throughout history and Churchill called his 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' in WWII because of the punishment it took without ever surrendering to the Nazis, I quickly felt at home and began preparing for my presentations for the convention.

While I enjoy doing more and more photographic training, I usually do not have to plan my workshops around gloriously warm sunshine just a few weeks before Christmas, so settling into the Le Meridien Hotel in the beautiful St Julien's Bay, I explored my surroundings for suitable locations for our photography with the models.


Necessity proved again to be the sacred mother of invention and my years of having to swiftly spot suitable locations for pictures, when normally thrust into less alluring situations than resplendent and sunkissed Mediterranean islands and with usually only a couple of minutes with insecure and egocentric actors or TV personalities, I soon put this invaluable experience to task and promptly discovered more than enough suitable surroundings for our forthcoming endeavours.

While I showed the delegates the beautiful soft and natural light that can be found in the shaded areas when the sun is shining so brightly close by and is so wonderfully complimentary, I decided to try and use the harsh sunlight and come up with an image using just this.

As we all know, the sun is constantly moving across the sky throughout its daily cycle of sunrise to sunset. While the 'Stephen Hawkings' amongst us will I am sure, now be screaming at this page as they rightly point out that that in reality, we are actually moving around the sun and with the benefit of hindsight, we can now accept that Galileo was somewhat unfairly persecuted and threatened with torture and death by the Catholic Church for promoting this accurate Copernican theorem, for the purposes of this exercise and for the sake of simplicity, we will forget the painful lessons learned and revert to what we actually witness with those age-old tools, the human eyes. With our eyes as we stand upon the earth, the sun moves across the sky from roughly east to west.

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1st Published 10/04/2015
last update 07/04/2022 09:17:28

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