Area 51

Last weekend I had the occasion to attend a workshop by Drew Gardner at Bert Stephani ’s place, better know as ‘The Barn’.

Not many people might know Drew, but for me he became like a true source of inspiration by looking at just 1 picture of him; the Waterbuffalo

Attending a workshop from Drew is very inspiring & exhausting at the same time. He simply can’t stop speaking, he ’s like the Energizer Bunny of photography! It’s always good to have a teacher that has something to tell rather than repeat the same shit over & over again.

The first day we started of with some discussions about his Forest Fashion shoots. He showed as all the preparation & hard work that came with it. And of course, very important, he gave a thourough insight on the lighting part.

In the afternoon we had to go out in the garden, look for a nice spot, team up in small groups and ‘just do it’ . Each group had 1 Elinchrom Ranger & about 1,5 hr to it’s disposal.  The goal was to get a first practice & feel with the rangers outside. Key elements where to adjust ambient & flashlight to something that fitted together. Although I ‘ve done it before, given the fact that there was a time restriction, other group members who wanted to shoot and a well known photographer as Drew who was going to judge what you did, made me struggle a lot. So I went to ‘Safe Mode’. Lucky enough, we had Christina Coene in our group who did a brilliant job:




After this, we regathered and discussed our try outs with Drew. I ‘ve seen many good photo’s, but yes, we all played on safe as Bert also pointed out.
Drew did send us home with an assignment: show up the next morning 08:00hrs sharp with a concept for a forest shoot.

That next day -though it wasn’t 08hr sharp 😉 – we splitted up in 2 main groups to discuss our concepts. Actually we had too many and it was a bit of a struggle to satisfy everyone. You know us egotrippin’ photographers hé 😉 But it went rather smoothly and what did came out was so véry ‘not on safe’ that I had doubts whether we could pull it off or not. We were going for a real group oriented concept where each photograher helped out to make a few but ‘epic’ pics. The set up was véry -but expected- chaotic with everyone running around like chicken 😀 But thanks to the natural leadership of Filip Bunkens, it all worked out fine. Time for results now. Bear in mind that it’s not my set of pictures, but the result of a cooperation. I will give all the names later on since I don’t know all of their sites (most where foreign). My Belgian colleagues were Filip Bunkens & Kris Van de Vijver.

sized_drew shoot1a

sized_drew shoot2a

sized_drew shoot3a

Storyboard: girl searches for lost dog (the picture with the dog loose & running didn’t work out), UFO beam hits her & she ’s levitated by it.
Technically: in photo 1 a medium softbox about 4 meters high behind the trees, a speedlight as search light and a medium softbox as key light.
In photo 2 & 3 a ranger on a boom, 2 rangers far behind the model as a rimlight and a ranger towards the background right behind the model.
A fill in for the dark parts on the face would have been better, certainly for pic nr 3. I will make another blogpost on how we actually made nr 3, cause that’s rather hilarious. But therefor I need some footage from the one who filmed it.

I would like to thank Bert & Drew for the major opportunity. It ’s turned out a real trigger for me to go and explore some more. Also -of course- big thumbs up for my colleagues & models on this shoot.




~ door Jef Janssens op september 6, 2010.

16 Reacties to “Area 51”

  1. I’m really sorry that i didn’t make it to the workshops, due to a shoot I had to do.

    When I see the results here, it must have been a “killer” workshop.

    Nice stuff!

  2. Thanks for posting these.. now I could finally show my girlfriend why I wasn’t home all weekend long. 😉

  3. love the post l wicked results

  4. Fabelachtige foto’s, heeeeeeel erg mooi! Ben zwaar onder de indruk.

  5. waaaw, coole foto’s!!!!
    Ben benieuwd naar meer 🙂

  6. waaaawww tijdens de shoot zag het er al veelbelovend uit, maar het resultaat is echt waanzinnig!! En blijkbaar is de rook er goed opgeraakt 🙂 Nice job!!!! x

  7. Heel knappe foto’s !! Groetjes

  8. Maar 1 woord…; WOW!

  9. Derde foto van de workshop is wel echt mooi…wil het verhaal wel weten, want ze hangt er niet gemakkelijk bij (weliswaar elegant). knap werk!

  10. Coole foto

  11. Nice pics.
    Lijkt me een leerrijke workshop geweest te zijn.

  12. Heel erg mooi … Leuke contrasten !

  13. WOW de 2 onderste foto’s vind ik ENORM mooi! En de rest ook!

  14. Wow, die drie laatste foto’s! Echt geweldig!
    Mijn complimenten!

  15. Wow hoe heb je die laatste gedaan (mijn vraagtekentoets is kapot)

  16. Het model lag op de rug van iemand die we er nadien hebben ‘uitgeshopped’ 😉

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