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Film Noir & Black Swan ~ An inspirational 2 day training masterclass
in fine portraiture lighting at Pipewell Hall, Northamptonshire UK.

With expert tutor Damien Lovegrove
Featuring models: Chloe Jasmine Whichello and Raphaella McNamara (tbc)

"Learn to light like a Hollywood master."

Film Noir Photography Training Poster    Black Swan Photography Training Poster


What is it?
An inspirational two day styled portraiture workshop utilising classic filmaking lighting styles set in sumptuous surroundings. Film Noir on day one will feature the legendary Chloe-Jasmine Whichello in Hollywood siren guise. Black Swan on day two will feature Raphaella McNamara, a classically trained ballet dancer and fabulous art nude model.

In the evening of day one Damien Lovegrove and the delegates will have dinner at Pipewell Hall.

£795 + VAT
(£954.00 incl. VAT)

There are currently no dates available. Please email us if you'd like to attend the next event.

Wednesday 13th & Thursday 14th February 2013


No. of models:
1 professionally represented model from the UK each day.

Damien Lovegrove

Pipewell Hall, Pipewell, Northants, NN14 1QZ


Pipewell Hall - 01536 760563
We've managed to negotiate a special workshop rate at just £60 B&B (normally £195.00). Please do bear in mind if you are staying at Pipewell that we will be shooting in the bedrooms between 10:00hs and 16:00hs each day and will need the room to be 'tidy'. If you prefer more freedom and privicy Premier Inn CORBY, 1 Little Colliers Field, Corby, Northants NN18 8TJ is just 1.6 miles (5 mins drive) away.

Workshop Level?
As long as you can set the basic settings on your camera you will easily keep pace with the tuition on this two day workshop. Although the 'level' may be set to medium it doesn't mean the images will be basic. It means the lighting will be beautifully simple to understand even when Damien is using three or four lamps. The emphasis will be on the art and not overtly on the technical aspects of photography. Expect to be shooting with continuous light at quite low levels.

Below are some photographic inspiration mood boards for Days 1 and 2. Click the thumbnails to enlarge. These photographs are by Damien Lovegrove pulled from his back catalogue and feature Chloe Jasmine Whichello and Raphaella McNamara among others. The photographs shown here are for guidence only.

Film Noir Moodboard

Black Swan Moodboard

This inspirational two day training event is for anyone eager to learn the art of classic low key lighting. On day one Damien will be using classic Fresnel spotlights, by both Lupolux and Arri to create Holywood style images and on day two he will use natural light and soft continuous light sources.

Konrad said: Damien, thank you for EPIC two days of shooting and learning at Pipewell Hall. Everything was spot on, the location, MUA and models could not have been better either! I'll definitely be back for more :)

Who should attend?
This workshop is ideal for all enthusiast or professional photographers wishing to expand their creative abilities to produce beautiful portrait photography. This workshop uses some advanced lighting set ups so expect to be challenged, however the technology will be simple so if you can use your camera in manual mode you have what it takes to make the most of this event. Have an open mind, a creative soul and experience the buzz of a two day Passion Experience event. In low light environments our biggest challenge will be to capture sharp images.

Konrad said: I am so hooked on this now I'd love to shoot more film noir and Hollywood glamour.

What you will have to take away at the end of the day:
1. Shooting in and around the reception rooms and bedrooms at Pipewell you will be producing portfolio images that you can use right away, on your website, in brochures or on your studio walls. Our models are professionals at the top of their game and will be patient and kind with us. There will be an air of fun and a relaxed creative buzz.

2. You will have a new repertoire of images you can shoot, and above all, access to professional image making skills that have a high repeatable value. You will have a true understanding of lighting and you will feel renewed excitement for portrait photography.

What's included
Tuition, models, makeup, hair styling, wardrobe styling, all lighting equipment and exclusive use of the fabulous Pipewell Hall. Coffee, home made cookies, Lunch, afternoon tea with cake and other refreshments on each workshop day.
Evening meal with wine at the kitchen table in Pipewell Hall on day one.

Day 1 - Film Noir

Seductive classic Hollywood interior portraits with continuous lighting

Using both continuous tungsten or daylight spotlights from Arri or Lupolux, Damien will show you how to light and shoot big production movie portraits. Damien will teach his system of lighting using some great but simple light modifiers. Delegates will learn how to create beautiful interior portraits on location with simple lighting equipment. There will be quite a bit of rigging to place lights in just the right places to produce stunning results. Chloe Jasmine has just the look to make these images timeless. All we need to do is capture them. At times the group will be split into three mini groups of two working with Chloe for a couple of minutes at a time so that everyone can have a more dedicated shoot experience in the smaller bedrooms. There will be no need to move on until everyone has a good selection of images. Damien will be on hand to offer 1 to 1 advice on technique, composition and settings.

There will be no Speedlights or big flash, just beautiful Hollywood style lighting with the 'what you see is what you get' magic that comes from continuous light sources. You will learn how to master light and composition in your photography. Marry these new skills with a better understanding of how to capture soul in an image and you will leave with an outstanding selection of images, ready to use in your portfolio, on your blog or website or even your own studio walls.

Garments will be provided by Chloe-Jasmine and various eveningwear and lingerie designers including Lisa Keating.

Day 2 - Black Swan

Artistic themed dance portraits with natural and continuous lighting

This styled training day will guide you through the various different ways to shoot dance and art nude in sumptuous surroundings. Damien will make fabulous light for Raphaella to perform in. This will be a fusion of styling, pose, elegance and masterful lighting. Expect to be transported on a creative journey capturing beauty and art. You will be shooting im many exciting locations including the vaulted wine cellar at Pipewell. Tutu's and dancewear will be provided by Raphaella, Damien Lovegrove and Lisa Keating.

Damien will be using various continuous lights and ingenious rigging systems to get lights just where they are needed. Nothing that will be used on this workshop will be particularly expensive so rest assured you won't have a big shopping bill at the end of the two days.

Pipewell Hall
Pipewell Hall
Pipewell Hall
Pipewell Hall
Pipewell Hall

Pipewell Hall is a romantic seventeenth century country mansion set in magnificent parkland. It is a truly exceptional venue and perfect for this workshop. A visit to this beautifully restored family home will be a memorable experience, with its breathtaking beauty and warm and welcoming atmosphere. We have access to finest bedrooms and have exclusive use of the house, gardens, and wine cellar (space only - not any of the contents!)
After the workshop on Day 1 we will all eat (and drink) together around the fabulous kitchen table:) It is the development of friendships and the sharing of inspiration that takes these events to a higher level.

Drive through the gates and feel the magic of Pipewell Hall and Lovegrove training, “two days you’ll always remember – a setting you’ll never forget”.

Pipewell Hall

Contact Trudie to make a booking to stay at Pipewell Hall on a special rate of £60.00 B&B (normally £195.00).

Please do bear in mind if you are staying at Pipewell that we will be shooting in the bedrooms between 10:00hs and 16:00hs each day and will need the room to be 'tidy'. If you prefer more freedom and privicy Premier Inn CORBY, 1 Little Colliers Field, Corby, Northants NN18 8TJ is just 1.6 miles (5 mins drive) away.

Pipewell Hall
NN14 1QZ

Phone: 01536 760563


09:30 - Tea & Coffee / Kit check and introduction
10.00 - Shoot session 1
11.00 - Tea & Coffee break
11.30 - Shoot session 2
13:00 - Lunch
14.00 - Shoot session 3
15.30 - Tea & Coffee break
16.00 - Shoot session 4
17:30 - Close
19:30 - Dinner at Pipewell (day 1 only)

Recommended kit list:

1. A DSLR camera or compact system camera. Any make will do.
2. Two or three lenses covering 24mm to 100mm approx. with or without gaps in the coverage. A fast prime lens like a 50mm f/1.8 will be advantageous.
3. A monopod (or fast stabalised lenses - see below)
4. Camera cards and batteries.

Here is my mini guide to obtaining sharp pictures.

There are three principal types of blur - Out of focus (optical), subject movement and camera movement...

OOF (Out of focus) is the one atributed to lens and camera AF performance. However, using careful focussing techniques and maintaining camera to subject distance after focussing should help with the AF bit. Some lenses are a bit soggy by nature with quite a bit of barel travel without any improvement in resolution. A 20Mp camera will out resolve most lenses in the 35mm format. Only a few primes and zooms can match the minute detail needed to realise the potential in the sensors. Nikon 24-70, Nikon 85mm f/1.4, Canon 100mm macro etc are good examples. Fast prime lenses deteriate in sharpness above f/8. Poor zoom lenses are rarely good wide open. So get the right lens for the job. My Fuji 35mm lens is super sharp at f/2. My Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens is great by f/2.8. My Canon 100mm is stunning wide open at f/2.8 and my Fuji 60mm is amazing wide open at f/2.4 too.

Subject movement is controlled by model or client direction. "hold that pose, don't move a muscle" etc or by a calming hand gesture. If you want the fluidity of pose like we will get from Chloe Jasmine or Raphaella then select at least 1/125th second and maybe even 1/250th to freeze the subject movement.

Camera movement used to have a formula back in the film days of 1/ focal length of the lens = min shutter speed of a steady photographer. So a 50mm lens needed at least 1/60th second to get acceptably sharp images. That has all changed. With micro pixels of ever smaller 5 microns and less, the circles of confusion for optimum pictures have got smaller too, way smaller! So for a 12Mp full frame camera you can shorten the exposure by 50% and for a 24mp camera 100% etc. So with a 50mm high quality prime lens you can expect to need a shutter speed of 1/125th second on a Canon 5Dmk3 or 1/180th on a Nikon D800. This is with rock steady hands too. Add in a bit of pressure and you can double the figures again. With a monopod or IS / VR those figures are greatly improved by as much as 4 stops. Neither a monopod or VR / IS stops subject movement though. So be wary of letting your shutter speed drop below 1/125th on this workshop. That means using ISO 800, 1/125th at f/2.8 or equivelent. There will be times that we will be a stop darker than that too. Hence the need for a fast prime or a camera with very high ISO capability.

"It's the photographer that has the vision for the photograph, the lens creates the image and the camera just records it" Invest in yourself, then your lenses and finally your camera.

Don't get too stressed about sharpness and perfection. The scenes we will create would look fab shot on an iPhone. Great lighting is the key ;)

Have any questions?
Call Laura or Julie on 01275 853204 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm GMT) or email them to us.

To book your place

Click the button above to add a place to your basket.

Cancellation Policy

As our costs for each workshop remain the same no matter how many delegates attend, please note that just like any pre-booked tickets for the theatre, concert, flights etc, we are unable to give any refund in the event of non-attendance, regardless of the circumstances. The exception to this is if we have prior notice and are able to put a cancellation place back online AND your place is resold. In this event we will of course make a full refund or credit to you. We also reserve the right to cancel any workshop if there is insufficient demand, especially if it means that our costs would be higher than our income. Please therefore do not leave it until the last few weeks if you are interested in a particular date, as you may find that it has been removed! Please note that we cannot be liable for any other costs incurred by yourself, so please check with us before booking any non-refundable accommodation or transport.

All photography ©Copyright Damien Lovegrove. All rights reserved.

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