Available Light Portraits - After Dark!

Melbourne Photography Education
Melbourne Photography Education
Public group

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)

Federation Square, Flinders St. · Melbourne

How to find us

I'll be standing near the glowing ACMI letters on Flinders St (opp Hosier Lane). I'm usually carrying a red satchel. If you're running late, call me on 0402-323-739 or look for us near the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr (our first stop).

Location image of event venue


Do you stop and think about the lighting before you snap a photo of friends or family?

This is a 2.5-hour educational outdoor walk/workshop to show you how to use various light sources (some of them unusual) to light portraits.

The walk moves between locations in Birrarung Marr where participants will be shown how to work with each light to take photos of each other. Appropriate camera settings are suggested for each light source and assistance is provided as required.

Unlike some other casual photography walks, the photographs taken are set exercises in using light and as such, there is limited scope for individual creativity. My intention is to force photographers out of their comfort zones and use unusual lights in ways they probably hadn't considered. I'm a firm believer that a little knowledge can be a much more powerful tool than fancy equipment. The concepts covered here are a good starting point for talking about lighting in general.

This walk is best suited to photographers who are already comfortable with their camera controls and have a working knowledge of the concepts of aperture, shutter speed, film speed (ISO) and white balance.

The recommended equipment for the walk is a camera capable of at least ISO 3200, an appropriate portrait lens (eg. at least 50mm or longer) with a reasonably wide aperture (eg. f/2.8 or wider). If you own a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, it's ideal. Tripods should be left at home as they are usually impractical on this walk. You will not require a flash or any other lighting equipment.

As this activity is run outdoors after dark, please ensure you're dressed in appropriately warm clothes and if the forecast suggests rain, please bring an umbrella.

We meet at sunset at Federation Square (http://www.fedsquare.com) and return to finish at the same location 2.5 hours later.

Scroll down to see feedback from previous participants for this activity.

If you are having difficulties making payment via Meetup, you can go direct to Paypal (https://www.paypal.com.au) and make payment to "[masked]". Make sure you include a note indicating which session you're making payment for so that I can set your RSVP correctly. Payment in advance is preferred for my sessions.


Some feedback from previous sessions...

"It was an amazing session and we learned to work the light and the camera in a very professional way. The best part was, it was loads of fun! Time and money well spent!" - Beena, May 2016

"The evening was extremely informative, David has a wealth of knowledge that he does not mind sharing with everyone. David takes the time to explain camera settings for people like myself that are fairly green in the hobby. My understanding of portrait photography at night has been turned around 180 degrees after attending this session with David, highly recommend attending." - John

"Learnt a lot, with a few key messages that I can add to my photography. Also appreciate some of the tips with camera set up... Lots of fun and even though we both had the two ugliest models to work with (namely ourselves) still got some good shots. For anybody else reading, this meet up is excellent - jump on board." - Warwick

"Cannot look at light the same again! :)" - Chris

"Money well spent. A bargain for the amount of stuff I learnt. I'm seeing more potential in the light around me." - Sharon

"It was absolutely mind-blowing! I have never thought about looking at objects like that and thought that I would need flash in order to take night photography. I have learnt to observe my subject and find the best angle to shoot in terms of light." - Maggie

"Fabulous, very informative and I will now look at taking photos with available light in a very different way. David explained each different light situation very well and I didn't come away feeling 'overloaded'." - Sandy

"So far the best meet up i have been, lots of learning and the group is small that makes the class more personalized." - Claudia

"Excellent. Very informative session to get you thinking of the best ways to use available light." - Maria

"Awesome!! Totally gets your brain buzzing about light and lighting." - Deanne

"Great learning experience with well thought out practical photographic tasks under different outdoor lighting situations with minimum equipment. Learnt heaps on how to assess existing night lighting options and how to use them optimally and creatively. Don't hesitate to join David on his inspiring photographic journeys! :)" - Jennifer

"The evening was very interesting! Definitely opened up my eyes to alternative lighting and how to work with what is available at the time. Great night." - Samira

"Thanks David for a hugely instructive session!!" - Ross

"Thank you David for a very informative and fascinating portraits session with available light. I'm so inspired and excited with experimenting further with minimal available light sources. I look forward to your future sessions." - Dorothy