The term “on-location lighting” brings to mind thoughts of warm, sunset-lit scenes that help make a perfect picture. However, working on-location often provides lighting situations that are far from perfect. Midday sun and shadows are just two of the harsh realities lighting photographers often face. Understanding and dealing with these harsh realities can help make a photographer stand out from the crowd. This hands-on workshop will demonstrate several real-world situations as well as methods to address and manipulate available light.

The morning session will start with an indoor demonstration on how to overpower outside lighting and how to work with highly reflective background surfaces. After the morning indoor session, participants will move to the location to be used in the afternoon outdoor sessions. A location walk-through will be given and a light lunch will be served. After lunch, the afternoon session will be divided into two groups. Each group will rotate through a series of scenarios presenting lighting challenges. By the end of the scenarios, participants will know how to manipulate available light using only additive and subtractive reflectors and how to incorporate on-camera strobes and flashes with additive and subtractive reflectors.

For the final lighting challenge, participants will be introduced to a location lighting full studio session where on-camera strobes, electronic flashes, portable power pack strobes, scrims, and reflectors will be used. This session will be done in open shade and in hard edge light so participants will have the full experience of how to handle many of the lighting scenarios they will encounter in real on-location lighting situations. Upon completion of the shooting exercises, there will be a follow-up review of the images taken.

  1. Items to bring to this workshop:
    Camera & lens (required):
    Full-Frame sensor: 50mm/85mm;
    APS-C or Crop sensor: 35mm/50mm
  2. On-camera strobe, or electronic flash (optional)
  3. Light meter (optional)
  4. Laptop for image review (optional)
  5. A sense of humor (required)

Limit: 20 participants

Participants are expected to sign a release form for liability and modeling as each participant will, at times, be a model for the class.

Fee: $269 for non RDP Workshop members
$199.99 for RDP Workshop members


Photo Credit: Nicholas Arent

Photo Credit: Rusty Sterling

Photo Credit: Rusty Sterling

Photo Credit: Rusty Sterling