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Review of Damien Lovegrove's Using Natural Light on Location DVD

Aug 7, 2008
Based in Bristol, UK, Damien Lovegrove originally trained as a BBC cameraman and lighting director. He took the world of wedding photography by storm with his own unique style of photography back in 2000 and has since become one of the biggest names in wedding and portrait photography.

Alongside a range of exclusive photography services, Damien also lectures; offering workshops, seminars and even mentoring. As well as face-to-face sessions, Damien's teachings are available in two tutorial style DVDs; Using Natural Light on Location and Using Flash on Location.

In his DVD, Using Natural Light on Location, Damien talks through a number of portrait sessions with a variety of male and female models in various locations. As the title of the DVD suggests, the sessions use natural light only and Damien, very openly, provides plenty of insight into his methodology and techniques as he goes along.

From choosing suitable locations to posing, lens choice to exposure settings. The viewer is provided with a rare opportunity to not only watch over the shoulder as shots are being composed, but also get to find out the thought that goes into each one.

One of the great things about fly-on-the-wall type videos such as this is that you get to see not only how Damien sets up each shot, but also how he interacts with and guides each model.

What I really like about each of the locations is that they're the kind of locations that should be accessible to most people. Shooting in exotic locations might make it easier to produce amazing images, but what Damien shows is that with the right lighting, technique and post processing, you can turn the most mundane nook into a wonderfully moody location.

Damien's style of presenting is very relaxed and enjoyable to watch. He takes his time to explain his thought processes and choice of camera settings for each shot, using just enough terminology to allow new photographers to follow.

In addition to the tutorials, there are a couple of special features on the DVD which I'm sure go a long way to answering two of the most common questions about Damien's photography; what post processing he uses and what he keeps in his kit bag.

The chapter covering the contents of his kit bag is pretty straightforward. The chapter covering post processing is a great opportunity to see how Damien turns five of the photographs taking during filming into a number of images that make him such a highly regarded photographer.

Damien's post processing is carried out in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Even though I've been using Photoshop for a number years and Lightroom for a few months, I was able to pick up some very useful and time saving tips from the DVD.

The production quality of the DVD video is excellent. This isn't one man and his camcorder. The footage is well edited and the camera angles help Damien to deliver a clear presentation with atmospheric background music to help set the mood.

For a DVD, it's expensive at 70, but when you consider how much an in-person session might cost and the fact that you can replay this as many times as you like the cost becomes less significant.

All in all, this is an excellent DVD for anyone with an interest in natural light portrait photography.
About the Author
William Lee is a digital photographer. Read more of his thoughts and see some of his work on his Digital Photography Blog. For photogenic wedding transport hire on Merseyside, consider Vintage Choice.
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