Richard Wood is an extremely talented photographer who lives in Havelock North. I first saw his work in 2011 when he won the NZIPP Photographer of the Year, and I have followed the progress he has made since. A lot of his work involves a lot of creative photoshop work, to a point where when he won his award comments were made that his talent lay more with the computer than the camera.

Richard and Lydia (One of our three models)

Richard and Lydia (One of our three models)

The following year he answered his critics in the best way possible. In addition to winning gold in the creative categories he entered several images into the “Classic” categories and received gold for them. The Classic category only allow limited post production adjustments. The dominant element in Richard’s image is the lighting so when I saw that he was running a half day workshop on both studio and natural lighting I jumped at it. That was despite the fact that it would involve a roundtrip six hours of driving to get there.

Now I have been learning lighting for quite some time and have built up a reasonable knowledge, so there is always the risk that you will attend a workshop that will only cover what you already know. The 20 people who attended were quite a mix from experienced professional to hobbyist who had been through Richard’s night courses. I have experienced workshops in the past where such a mix has proved problematic as those with limited knowledge have slowed the session down too much.

Richard explaining new styles of photos while our model balances on top of a fencepost

Richard explaining new styles of photos while our model balances on top of a fencepost

Fortunately Richard seemed to be able to cope with such a diverse group and the day progressed at a good place.

If I am honest from a technical viewpoint I did not really pick up anything new. However from the point of how that knowledge is applied I got heaps, simply from watching the way that Richard set up a shoot and arranged to lighting to get the images that he was after.

I am not going to go into the techniques that Richard taught. When all is said and done Richard needs to make a living out of running these courses and that will not be helped if those that attend go out and spread the techniques far and wide. Richard is planning running the course in other centres and needless to say that I fully recommend people going on it. Check out his website at www.richardwood.co.nz or his Facebook page.

A group shot of the three models. Posing & Lighting set up by Richard

A group shot of the three models. Posing & Lighting set up by Richard