Don Giannatti has been a photographer for more than four decades. Starting with a desire to do fine art photography, he quickly made the jump into commercial. Over the decades he has owned studios in Phoenix, New York, Chicago and LA. A wide range of clients kept him shooting everything from studio product to fashion, beauty and travel.
With a preference for photographing people and still life, Don feels that lighting is the most important part of the image making process. Understanding the light and how the subject reflects the light helps photographers visualize the image before starting the shoot. This “subject centric” approach to light is what he teaches and is the subject of much of his writing.
He has authored three books for Amherst - all currently available at Amazon.com (keyword Don Giannatti).
Don current maintains a studio in Phoenix, teaches workshops all over the world, and writes for the online Photography magazine, Lighting Essentials (www.lighting-essentials.com)
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There is something inherently beautiful about natural light. It can be soft and warm, or hard and unforgiving, or even have a sort of melancholy to it. These are the areas we will be looking at in this course.
Fashion and Beauty photography make use of natural light in many ways. A recent viewing of Vogue (October, 2012) reveals many natural light photography shots by up and coming and well established photographers. The techniques are not hard to understand, but still require the finesse and deliberate approach that is required when using artificial lighting.
We will look at natural light from all angles; full sun, modified sun, shade and moody, emotional light.
We will build some inexpensive modifiers for natural light, and also show how to correctly use white reflectors, silver and gold reflectors, scrims, mirrors, and more. These tools are not expensive, but the results they give can be astounding.
The natural light fashion/beauty photography course is divided into 12 lectures, each running approximately 30 minutes. There is a workbook, plans for building a scrim and large reflector, and lots of videos.
Most lectures include a shoot with the gear we are using, a Photoshop tutorial, the PSD file for viewing and a look at how the final images were selected. Looking at the images as they are shot, and then edited, is very powerful as a learning tool.
If you are interested in portraiture, fashion, beauty or glamour, this natural light photography course will open your eyes to the very cool ways you can use natural light to make your images.
The beauty photography course is suited to any level of photographer. I recommend a light meter, although we will also show you ways to use your camera meter as we go. A couple of stands would also be a good addition to your natural light arsenal.
This class also has over two hours of bonus content, with new content being added in May 2013 and June 2013.
Scrim (white shower curtain liner from Target or Kohls, or similar retailer. It is the cloth type with no decorations or imprints. Do not get plastic, many of them have phosphors that can actually turn the light bluish.
Stands - you can never have enough stands. You should also have some reflector booms to hold cards and scrims close to your subject without getting stands in too close.
Sand bags are very important as well.
A Five-in-One Reflector system: Gold / Silver / White / Gold and Silver with a diffuser inside is my first choice, but there are several other types to consider. I like the 43" size, and find that the smaller ones are just too small. There are larger as well, but they can be unwieldy in even a slight breeze. Buy two of the same size/brand when you purchase though. There will be times when you will want to have matching light sources.
White boards - fome core is a great material - to use for bouncing and flagging off the light.
Most of these tools are not expensive.
Matt started out shooting a lot of fashion and lifestyle, but has added travel to his specialties as well. He shoots natural/available light and uses modifiers like scrims and bounce reflectors to change up the available light to meet his needs.
I think you will enjoy this video interview. We go through his portfolio and discuss a great many different things. It is not all about natural light fashion, but I thought you would enjoy the interview for all the discussions of why he chooses natural light to work with.
Don's "no bs" approach to teaching shines through in this course. In it, he teaches you how to make the most out of the cheapest light source there is - the sun. Don shows you there's no need for expensive gear to take good photos - you just need to learn how to see the light that's already there and make it work in your favour.
And he shows his love of photography and teaching with everything he does, it seems.
This course is definitely something you need to go through if you want to know and understand how natural light works and how to use it in fashion and beauty photography! I have the privilege to be part of Don's 52 Pro's course and must admit that he is one of the best tutors out there I have had so far! Apparently, Don has prepared another great course at a very affordable price! Don't think twice!
Photography is all about controlling light. Don's teaching style is relaxed, easy to understand, and uses real world examples. If you're on a tight budget, can't afford a trunkful of lights, or just love the look of natural light, then Don's methods to use and control natural light is something you really need to learn.
Don is a terrific teacher and each of these lectures is packed with practical tips you can apply immediately. Thoroughly recommended.