Guest Speaker: Clive Copeman (Mon. 29 Oct. 2018)

Clive Copeman, Commercial and Portrait Photographer

In advance of Clive Copeman’s talk at the first meeting of 2019 (Mon. 11 Feb.) I thought I would provide a summary of a talk he gave on 29 Oct. 2018 (better late than never, right?).

The Dunedin Photographic Society offers opportunities to learn skills that can help us to improve our photography. Often, the best teachers are our fellow members, a few of whom are also professional photographers. On Monday 29 October, professional photographer and DPS member, Clive Copeman, led a workshop on portraiture.

Clive discussed a number of practical and aesthetic approaches to commercial portrait photography, using examples from his work to illustrate his points (a selection of these images is below). It was instructive to discover what goes on behind the scenes of a portrait shoot, including appropriate gear and design considerations. He talked about how he puts his subjects at ease and how he arranges pairs and groups of people in front of the camera — rarely side by side and face on but at angles that create a considered relationship between the individuals. He explained how he plans and composes images that combine studio portraits with background settings that are shot separately (like the first image below). Although natural lighting can be effective, Clive also discussed the use of flash and coloured light to create a mood and enhance the scene. He then demonstrated the effects that are possible with different lighting angles by taking several shots of a volunteer from the audience using lights positioned above, to the sides and below the subject’s face. The difference was pretty dramatic.

You can see more of Clive’s work on his website, Facebook and Instagram, where you can follow his forays into the Otago hinterlands on his #FatBike.

Photos supplied by Clive Copeman.


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