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Nov 16 2009

Studio Lighting workshop – lights, camera, action!

Jose Fernandez

[svgallery name="Studio Lighting Student Gallery"]

The final SPW Studio Lighting workshop for 09 has been hailed a great success.

The workshop started promptly at 8:30am where a mix of new and familiar faces gathered at the new Light Pro Sydney studios in Artarmon.

The day began with a short presentation by Daniel Linnet running through some theory of basic lighting techniques. There was also a short slideshow of images from both Daniel’s and Scott McGale’s portfolio, showcasing some of their high and low key images to which the students will be shooting today.

After the initial presentation Scott McGale took the students on a walk through the huge Dragon image showroom, going through each light and explaining the effect they could expect to get when using it. Meanwhile, our two models for the day, Olivia and Tara were having their makeup done and choosing the first of about 3 outfits each.

By this stage it was obvious that the students where keen to start shooting! We broke up into 2 groups; 6 students in the low key set with Daniel and 6 students on the high key set with Scott.

Both Scott and Daniel got straight into it, starting with a blank canvas and adding one light at a time to produce the desired effect. The students were given plenty of shooting time. Of course, all this with the help of the ever-so hard-working-assistants for the day; Kieron Dobbin and Jose Fernandez.

Lunch was the usual SPW feast; wraps, sandwiches, sushi and fruit to fuel the students for the afternoon session.

There was a quick costume change for the models and then back on the sets for the afternoon session. Again, different lighting techniques explained and lots of time for the students to go one-on-one with the model.

For the finale of the day in the low key set, the props included a mini tramp and a smoke machine which produced some stunning images, as you can see in the images attached to this post.

The day finished at approximately 6pm (I reckon the students would have stayed on until 9pm if they could) and there were happy faces all round. That is, except for Daniel and I who were left feeling a little jealous that we weren’t getting the opportunity to produce some of the fantastic shots that the students were getting!

Check out the photos and behind the scenes from the day!


[svgallery name="SPW Studio Lighting 09"]

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Nov 2 2009

Final Night Top 30 Student Images – Intake 4, 2009

Jose Fernandez

Approximately every 8 weeks a new batch of SPWBeginners DSLR Workshop” graduates go out into the world armed with their new cameras and enough new photographic knowledge and inspiration to make the most of them.

From chatting to the tutors and also the students themselves, one of the most beneficial, and I would say fitting ending to the course, is the Final Night presentations where each student brings along a selection of images created during the 8 weeks for a final slide show to music. Being able to see other photographers interpretations of the various exercises and subject matter as, well as uses of basic techniques in unique ways, often broadens the creative mind and can offer a new perspective on an otherwise familiar subject.

Images are created to be shared, to teach, to inspire and off course, to communicate the creators vision of the world. I always make a point to encourage ALL to attend this final night as the value gained from seeing the results of others often outweighs any that can be passed on verbally or by the written word. After all, photography is a visual medium.

For myself, the reward is seeing the quality of the images created and the breadth of ideas from a group who just 8 weeks earlier had little or no photographic knowledge. So it is with great pleasure that we present the first selection of our ‘Final Night Top 30′.

To view the image larger, just click on the photographers name below the thumbnails

[svgallery name="SPW09 T4 Final Night"]

This set of Top 30 Images was selected anonymously from over 800 final night images presented. In the selection process we considered; initial impact, originality of idea/concept, technical execution, composition and overall mood and feel.


by: Daniel Linnet

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One Response to “Final Night Top 30 Student Images – Intake 4, 2009”

  • Vote -1 Vote +1manda

    i LOVE 020 Phillip Sicklinger image.
    really expressive and moody image.
    i also really like 013 Jane Amiradaki
    and 019 Jack Toohey…

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Nov 2 2009

NSW Photographer’s Rights – the question on everyone’s lips!!

Daniel Linnet

"Jesus I Love You" - © Daniel Linnet

"Jesus I Trust In You" - © Daniel Linnet

One of the most asked questions from aspiring and pro photographers alike is “What are my rights when photographing in public places, especially if photographing people candidly?” In other words, are you able to photograph a couple smooching in Hyde Park, and then use it in your online folio or for other purposes? The answer can often be a complex one, especially when you start considering common courtesy, etiquette and plain old morals.

A big thank you to Glenn Weinnert who found and posted this link on our Shots Flickr Group. It definitely answers a lot of questions.

“Created in response to objections to my Sydney Unposed project, it is written from a photographer’s perspective, with a focus on what rights shooters have (and don’t have) when it comes to candid photographs of people. Please note: as it is not an encyclopaedia on every possible aspect of photographic law, it does not attempt to address issues like anti-terrorist legislation, council photography permits or National Park commercial photo restrictions. The sole purpose of the following is to discuss legal issues which apply to people photography only.” – Andrew Nemeth BSc (Hons) LLB MTeac

Click here for ‘Australian street photography legal issues ‘

by Daniel Linnet

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Oct 21 2009

SPW Studio Lighting Workshop – Back by Popular Demand!

Daniel Linnet

Studio Lighting_dance_email

And this time it’s going to be even bigger!

To be held at the new Light Pro Sydney studio in Artarmon on the 8th of November 2009. This time we will have access to even more lighting equipment, and triple the amount of space.

Every time I visit Light Pro (Dragon Imaging) I feel like a kid in a candy store, so we will make sure to do a walk through as a part of the equipment introduction. Not a sales pitch. ;-)

NEW Light Pro Studio - our High Key Set

NEW Light Pro Studio - High Key Set

On the day we will run 2 sets, a high key and a low key, which will give a more rounded understanding of studio lighting possibilities.

Tutors for the day are Daniel Linnet ( and Scott McGale (

- 2 Sets (high/low key)

- 2 Pro Photographers + assistants

- 2 models (Dancers)

- All demonstrations are tethered

- Hair / Makeup + Wardrobe Styling

- Introduction to Lighting basics

- Full Equipment walk-through

- Flash Metering techniques

- Home Studio setup

- Mastering Lighting Ratios to control mood

- Working with movement

- Invaluable pro tips and tricks, and ALL questions will be answered


Numbers are limited to only 16 (split into 2 groups).

To attend this workshop you MUST have a firm grasp of your camera in manual mode.



Low Key

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Oct 14 2009

Creation of “Marquee” in Better Photoshop Techniques #16

Daniel Linnet

Daniel Linnet - the Ballerina, Marquee

Daniel Linnet - the Ballerina, Marquee

What started out as a simple sketch from a set and costume designer and very good friend of Daniels, James Browne, turned into and epic 18 hour shoot with a cast of thousands, a very talented creative team, months of pre-production and planning all followed by many hours editing and post-production.

We often joke that this series of images is like the gift that keeps on giving for Daniel, but in fact there is truth to that statement. Daniel has sold many prints, and more recently they were shortlisted for the London International Creative Awards.

Recently better photoshop magazine ran a story on the creation of Marquee where Daniel explains the thought and creative process behind the shoot, from behinning to end!

Jose Fernandez



Original Sketch by James Browne

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2 Responses to “Creation of “Marquee” in Better Photoshop Techniques #16”

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Vanessa Pike-Russell

    I have always been inspired by this image and it was great to see how you worked hard on an image that not only tells a story but is so alive and almost magical in its presentation.

    As someone who has completed your People Photography workshop in the past it has really helped to see how you created this composite image and the processes involved. Kudos to you for sharing it with us :)

    Warm regards,


  • Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Linnet

    Cheers Vanessa. I’ve also got a video clip of the whole process which I might post up in the next few weeks.

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Oct 2 2009

Shortcuts to the Copyright Symbol ©

Daniel Linnet

If like myself, you post, email or Flickr lots of images then it’s probably handy to know the shortcuts for a photographers most commonly used symbol, the Copyright ©.

Mac - Opt+G , hold down the option key while pressing G. If for whatever reason this doesn’t work on your machine, here’s a link to a universal but much longer method. Then just cut and paste it as many times as required.

PC (Windows) – Alt+0169 – hold down the Alt key while typing 0169 in the numeric key pad. Note: make sure your Num Lock is activated

Now there’s no excuse not to © ALL your images, either before or after your name.

Daniel Linnet

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Oct 1 2009

‘Production Paradise’ delivers a visual feast!

Daniel Linnet

Days of endless inspiration and ideas

Days of endless inspiration and ideas

Trolling the web for images that inspire can often be a daunting and time consuming task. Sifting through thousands of mediocre images to find that rare gem, is definitely one my pet hates.  So when I come across a site that offers a variety of INSPIRING and ORIGINAL photography of all genres and disciplines in the one place, YES……, I get excited!

This link is now at the top of my bookmarks folder. Production Paradise is a directory and showcase for the visual media industry but the cool thing is that you don’t really need to be in the industry as such, to enjoy the visual feast that’s on offer. In particular I would be checking out their selection of past and current Showcase Magazines featuring only the best photographers from around the world. Who knows, you might even see yours truly on there one day soon! ;-)

Be warned however, once you click on the link be prepared to lose a good few hours, or even days. Enjoy!

by Daniel Linnet

Showcase Magazine

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Sep 21 2009

SPW Workshop Review – Photographing People

Jose Fernandez

Review by Chris Belyea

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not entirely comfortable with taking the prospect of taking images of people, and my skill set in this area extended to the typical ‘ … stand there, look at the camera and smile .. ‘

Hardly inspiring stuff, so what do you usually do when you want to improve at something … you seek out talented, knowledgeable and experienced people to show you how !

Cruising the internet you’ll come across a variety of professional photographers offering a bewildering array of Workshops and courses, but one that really stood out was Sydney Photographic Workshops People Photography Workshop … a full day workshop … just what I was looking for !

I’d met Daniel Linnet before at the Shots @ The Arthouse workshops so I knew I was in good hands.

Right from the outset, I knew this was a professionally run course, from the booking confirmation form through to the reminder a few days prior to the Workshop. Everything was planned for and taken care of, I knew what I needed to bring, what we‘d be doing and how the day was planned.

Upon arrival we’re greeted by Wendy (Daniel’s wife) and the mood is relaxed and friendly and Wendy has this knack for remembering everyone’s name … all the time !

After we’re all seated comfortably, Daniel briefs us on how the day is planned … a morning shoot at a boxing gym and an afternoon shoot at an outdoor location. Bring it on !

The Morning Shoot

Within 5 minutes of arriving at our location, you quickly realise that Daniel and Wendy make a great team, and its so totally seamless in the way in which they operate … Daniel leads from the front, knows his stuff and explains things in a manner in which you can understand. Nothing is ever too much trouble, no question ever too stupid. Wendy is always in the background making sure that everything’s under control … she’s just ‘there’ … handing out drinks and snacks through to making sure everyone keeps their elbows in check.

During the morning session, Daniel carefully explains what we need to look for, what to consider and how to go about it.
Daniel 1
All the basics are covered, but the finer details, all drawn from Daniel’s experience, are generously shared and I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable in directing our model to get the shot I’m seeing in my mind. It still feels uncomfortable, but its getting there.

Just a small point worth noting is that SPW (Sydney Photographic Workshops) use professional models and believe me, this sort of attention to detail makes a huge difference, as well as the fact that they also have another professional photographer there, and Ben was simply fantastic in this regard

Everybody is well looked after and we all get ample time and opportunity to shoot

After around 3 solid hours of shooting we head back to the SPW studio for what was described as a ‘sumptuous lunch’.

Trust me, they’re underplaying what was a relaxed and beautifully prepared lunch for all 9 of us … again, it’s the attention to detail that make a huge difference

The Afternoon Shoot

Its back on the bus to our outdoor location and admittedly, the morning shoot had been one for the girls, but this was now the boys turn

Again, another superb professional model, beautifully made up and so totally professional and at ease … nothing was ever too much trouble (just like the morning)

With an entirely different set of conditions to contend with, Daniel is quickly into his stride and once again, the combination of Daniel, Wendy and Ben were all working to make the shoot so effortless.

Just a word to the wise … never underestimate the power of a simple ‘point & shoot’ camera in Wendy’s capable hands.
Towards the end of the day, Daniel shows us all how to create ‘day for night’ technique … but you’ll have to attend yourself to find out !

During the course of the day I found myself becoming more and more comfortable with directing our models until in the end, it felt ‘almost’ natural. I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up my day job, but at least I now know, more importantly, what NOT to do !

Mission accomplished !

As with some things, quite often the difference between what is advertised or promised and what is actually delivered can be disappointing.

Not so here !

If I’m honest, I’ll admit to slightly baulking at paying $395, but given my research on other workshops it seemed quite reasonable, that is until you experience it first hand and then you totally appreciate what stupendous value it really is.

From first hand experience, what SPW advertised they delivered, and much much more

• Multi award winning Master Photographer
• Photographer’s Assistant
• A professional and friendly fashion / beauty model
• A professional actor / character model
• A Host & Stylist
• Tutorial & objective brief for the days shoots
• Light refreshments throughout the day (includes water, tea, coffee, juice & snacks)
• Sumptuous lunch
• Final review
• Lighting & reflectors where required
• Location fees
• Studio equipment
• Transport van
• Wardrobe & costumes
• SPW Student Discount Card offering discounts from a variety of retailers and preferred suppliers
• Registration and on-going support via our Student Forum

Daniel made what I thought was a brave statement at the beginning of the workshop that we’d definitely come away with maybe 5 or 6 shots that we’d be really proud of.

He was right !

For more information and booking details please visit Sydney Photo Workshops.


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6 Responses to “SPW Workshop Review – Photographing People”

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Yolanda Romeo

    Totally agree with your review Chris. I have done the 8 week basic course and the people photography course. Best money ever spent. Daniel and Wendy are great and I learnt so much and really enjoyed the workshops. Hoping to do the landscape one as soon as I have some spare cash.

  • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1CB 357

    Yolanda, hope to see you there then … its on my list as well ;-)

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Linnet

    Thanks Chris for such an awesome review. I’m blushing. :-)

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Jose Fernandez

    Chris, is the landscape workshop the final piece in the SPW workshop puzzle?

  • Vote -1 Vote +1MarcinGwizd

    I attended this course where these particular photos were taken,
    I have done workshops with other photogaphers but have never met anyone as passionate and good at what they do till i met Daniel.

    This is the most rewarding workshop i have done i learned more in one day than all the previous courses i have done put together, I will definately be back to do more.

    Location and model choice Perfect! :)

  • Vote -1 Vote +1CB 357

    Jose, I wouldn’t say ‘final’ but it will be a step in the right direction ;-)

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Sep 18 2009

Evernote – harnesses the creative process

Daniel Linnet


For a long  long time I’ve scribbled ideas and thoughts in my trusty Moleskine, even going as far as numbering the pages and keeping an ‘index of ideas’ on the inside back page. These days however, my iPhone is my new Moleskine, but it wasn’t really until a very good friend introduced me to Evernote did I realise it’s true potential in the creative field.

If you have truly caught the photography bug (some call it a disease), then throughout the day you might get a constant flow of ideas and thoughts about your creative passion. Because my ideas always happened in such a spontaneous manner, usually triggered by my surroundings at the time, I always found that by the end of the day, unless I recorded them immediately, I would only retain only 50% or less.

I needed a way to harness my creative process! So, I went out and bought myself a Moleskine notebook which, with it’s practical design and arty history almost coaxed you to use it……, plus it was the perfect size to fit in my jacket pocket right next to my nerdy pen holder and ink stain.

I felt liberated! Now I was able to scribble my thoughts and observations at will yet still having them all in the same place, always available for further reference, and even indexed for speedy retrieval. The hardcover little black book was not to leave my side for many years.

My Evernote Desktop

My Evernote Desktop

I still have the original notebooks full of ideas and inspirations although these days they’re quietly sitting on my desk in a neat pile awaiting their eventual transfer into Evernote. I haven’t given up using them just yet but certainly feel that their days are very much numbered. Working in such a visually intensive field I realised that I wanted to be able to do more than just writing or sketching down my thoughts.

The first thing that jumped out at me about Evernote was the fact that it was a cross platform application. I could install it on all the studio Mac’s and the last remaining PC and keep everything syncronized and accessible from every part of the studio.

The next big plus for me was that Evernote also came complete with a native iPhone App ‘Evernote’ for my shiny new 3G, as well as apps for Palm and Blackberry users…… and things just got better! All the devices stay syncronized via a FREE Evernote account which also acts as your storage portal for all your clippings, so no matter where you are, you can log in to your account and view any of your clippings at any time from any internet browser.

Now I can, and regularly do,  grab a quick snap shot of a potential location (complete with it’s GPS coordinates) I might stumble across, jot down an idea, record a voice memo or clip a web page and then have it almost instantly appear on all my machines and devises, then as I continue my research on the web I can clip the pages along with their URL’s straight into their respective job folders using the browser clipping plugin.

To keep things organised I normally create an individual folder for each job, project or subject, and a default ‘go to’ folder for miscelaneous clippings to be filed at a later date. The ability to keep ALL the information for each project in the one place has proved invaluable in shoot preparation and execution, especially when I’m away on location. It has also come in handy for everything from buying a car, to preparing the grocery list and compiling ideas and information for Foto Priority.

The whole Evernote experience is very organic which takes no time to master, and yes, it’s definitely VERY complementary to the creative process. Best of all, to get going costs you nothing, although you do need to set up an account which gives you plenty of clipping room. The Palm, Blackberry & iPhone apps are also free.

Once you start using it for remembering almost everything, upgrading to Premium gives you a much bigger upload capacity, supports more file types, and offers enhanced security. Plus, you get PDF searching, faster image recognition, and no ads.  That will set you back US$45.00 p/year which, based on how much I use it, is very fair indeed. Happy clipping!!

Evernote Home

Evernote iPhone

by Daniel Linnet

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Sep 15 2009

Create your own Lighting Digrams

Daniel Linnet

Low Key Set Diagram from recent Studio Lighting Workshop

Low Key Set Diagram from recent Studio Lighting Workshop

One of the best ways to keep improving your lighting skills is to keep track of your images along with their respective lighting setups and shot details. For many years, at the end of any shoot I have often scribbled a rough lighting diagram of my final set-up on the back of a half oil soaked sandwich bag, which then invariably got tossed out with the rest of the shoot rubbish. Even if the piece of paper made it back to the studio, eventually it would still get lost. I didn’t think much of it then, but many years down the track every time I needed a point of reference, I wish I had kept that piece of paper.

In more recent times however, I have found that on most shoots, as we try to squeeze as much into the day as possible, having a pre-determined idea of the final lighting set up is almost imperative. So now before each shoot, I try to imagine what I want the final shot to look like and then methodically work out the lighting scheme and ratios. This process would often take a couple of hours, as I explore various lighting options drawing diagram after diagram until I was happy with the outcome…….that was until I discovered this little gem.

A Photoshop (PSD) file that gives you all the tools you need to create a perfect lighting diagram……., and best of all, it’s absolutely free thanks to Kevin Kertz.

Now I don’t have to run through reams of paper, I just open the file and move my lights around on layers. What could be easier!

Later on when the printouts are covered in shoot debris or lost altogether, I still have my original files which get zipped up and archived with the rest of the shoot info. Alternately, If I stumble across an interesting and unexpected result during the shoot, I always have the blank master file handy on my desktop.


If you’re not using Photoshop, there is another solution. The Online Lighting Diagram Creator allows you to create them online and then export as a Jpg, PNG or even create a URL, although this is still in beta mode. This method is definitely not as portable but still does a great job.

Give either of these a go! At worst you’ll have a little bit of fun moving lights around an imaginary studio and at best, you’ll start having more of a think about your lighting rather than just winging it on the day.

Have fun!

by Daniel Linnet –

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