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Practical Demonstration By Darren Woolway ARPS

Marjorie Burge writes:

Darren Woolway ARPS BaHons really did give us a practical demonstration on how to make people levitate when he was our guest speaker at the club on Friday 27th November. Setting the stage with studio soft boxes, camera, laptop, screen, stepladder and model, he unfolded the mysteries of ‘Ghosts and how to make people levitate’. Very necessary to the evening was his model Rachael, beautiful in a long floating red dress, who patiently posed for the camera while balanced on the stepladder. Images appeared almost immediately on screen as Darren experimented with lighting and exposure, shadows and texture – patience required here from both photographer and model. Having acquired his images, Darren showed us how he uses Photoshop to perfect his final ‘floating image’, and, with the use of layers and the careful elimination of the stepladder, there was Rachael, levitating. It was an amazing evening, the audience invited into Darren’s studio and being taken step by step through all that is involved in studio portraiture. We do have portrait photographers in APS and to them it was confirmation of what they already knew but to many of us it was an exciting glimpse into the life of a professional photographer. A step-by-step guide can be downloaded from here RAID Photographic Training.


The Model


The Background



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The Finished Image

Darren writes: “I then showed a simple 2 light set up to create a beauty head shot, using a large softbox as the background metered at F/16 and a shoot through brolley at the front set at F/8. A reflector was then used to complete the Clam Shell set up lighting the shadows under the models chin and eyes.

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Darren is a full-time professional photographer specialising in still life and automotive photography. Originally studying Garden Design he quickly moved on to photography and recently returned to College and graduated with a first class degree in Digital Photography. As well as working full time, Darren is an accredited KCPA judge (he judged our Portrait competition last season), gives talks to clubs and, with RAID Photographic is involved in a range of photographic courses. Darren’s websites will give you more information and you can find him at and also at

Next Friday, 4th December, Carol White-Griffiths LRPS will be judging the John Wigmore Rural Landscape Competition – both digital and prints. Our landscape definition of ‘a wide view or vista of scenery’, also includes water/seascapes and skyscapes. Visitors welcome.