Tag Archives: Tuition

Photography tuition for photographers of all experience. Covering studio lighting and using a photography studio, small groups to 1-2-1 session held in Rushden, Northamptonshire.

Tuition workshop dates released

I’ve just made available some studio photography tuition dates in May and June. Each session has 4 photographers and a model who will work up to full frontal nude.

Session dates are:

  • Sunday 11th May, only 1 place remaining
  • Saturday 14th June sold out

Book here: http://www.johntisbury.co.uk/photography-workshops.htm

More information about how I approach my photography tuition sessions:


Mike shooting at a low angle to accentuate Iveta's pose

Mike shooting at a low angle

Lighting Lesson with John Tisbury

The following article was taken from Clover’s blog which I’ve re-produced in full with her permission. The original post can be found http://kinkyclover.com/index.php/2012/08/29/lighting-lesson-with-john-tisbury/

Lighting Lesson with John Tisbury

Last week I had my very first official lighting lesson with John Tisbury, I have had help from some very talented friends and mentors such as China Hamilton, Paul Alexander, David Lawrence and Tim Rosier who all have very different styles and approaches to photography. This was my very first proper lighting tuition. I have to say it was worth it and can not recommend learning from John Tisbury enough. I was expecting to learn a few things but I learnt much more than I ever anticipated, even how to get sharper images.

It was a challenge as I am not used to directing art nude models but I had Lizzie Spritz working with me for the day and even though this is a first for her too (art nude) I think she did exceptionally well and worked hard throughout the shoot.

The options for the day were to work in his studio for the day or work in mine. To show John exactly what I was working with from space and equipment limitations to lack of lighting knowledge. John was wonderful, I have modelled for him quite a few times but I was nervous having such a great photographer watching me work, particularly given everything I do is pretty much made up and done because it simply looks good to my eye.

John began by asking me to set up my lights how I usually would, so I did, he then went on to explain a bit about the lighting I was using and how to create some different effects and looks with it. For most of the day Lizzie was standing straight for the images, as I wanted to see exactly where the light was falling the what we were creating, towards the end of the day we got more creative and think we got some great images.

I learned how to created different lighting effects which I would usually create in post production, so this day has reduced my editing significantly, increased the quality of my images hopefully and given me much more to work with.

If you are looking to learn more about light, I highly recommend learning from John Tisbury, who is an excellent teacher, patient and explains things very well while allowing the student to explore a bit on their own. I would really recommend booking John for a day or attending one of his highly sought after lighting classes.

Clover X x



1 space remaining – studio lighting photography workshop

Update 16/06/2012: This workshop is now fully booked

My next small group studio lighting workshop for Saturday 7th July has one remaining space available.

All tuition and training sessions offer:

  • A chance to develop your style with John’s technical guidance and tuition
  • Training on how to use lights. Starting with one light. Explore the effects that reflectors, flags, bounces, grids and barn doors have on light
  • Different lighting setups for different effects; soft and hard light
  • Experiment with flash and continuous lighting and ringflash
  • Learn how to work with a model from concept to final shot
  • How to develop ideas, concepts and creativity
  • The use of Elinchrom, Broncolor and ARRI studio kit, inc. ringflash, large lightbanks, softboxes, soft eggbox grids, fresnel spots, snoots and so on
  • The use of a Nikon D3 or D7000 and Nikon pro lenses if required
  • Shoot a professional model in a purpose built studio environment
  • Signed model release for all images if required
  • Snacks and beverages throughout the day and a full sit-down lunch. Learning on an empty stomach is no fun; many delegates say lunch was the best bit of the day!
  • Model for the session it KatyCee
  • Session times 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Maximum of 4 delegates per session giving you time to learn and practise
  • £250 per delegate

Book now

Images from a previous workshop

Shot by Mick: Joceline lit by three lights

Images from recent Photography Workshop

I’ve received some images taken by delegates who attended my most recent Photography Workshop in February and thought you’d like to see the results they achieved. I feel it’s so much better for you to see the images that the delegates took then you can see that if you attended a session you too can capture the same type, style and level of images. The images are from throughout the day and show some of the various lighting set ups I demonstrated. I hope it shows you that you can learn new skills, knowledge and techniques, have fun and take home some wonderful images too.

Thank you to Peter, Mick and Martin for letting my share their images with you, I’ve also added some unsolicited feedback from them after the workshop.

If you’d like to attend the one of my next workshops then click here. next dates 17th March and 14th April 2012.

Unsolicited delegate comments from this session:

“Thank you so much for the photo workshop last Saturday. I think I probably learned more in one day than I have in the past 2 years messing about in studios. Not only that it was also great fun (I have done another shoot since a great improvement on my normal work!). If you would also pass on my thanks to Joceline an absolutely great model to work with, you two make a good team! I would like to talk to her at some stage about a SiFi themed shoot.

Last but not least could I  also thank your good lady for looking after us all so well.  The absolute best Bakewell Tart ever!!”

“Just a quick note to thank you for the workshop yesterday. It was very, very useful and I learnt a huge amount that will certainly help me to develop my personal skills. I thought your teaching skill and style were exceptional ,the course content , pace and the way that you organised everything was perfect and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. If you ever develop a course geared around creativity and specific image making explaining the full process from concept to delivery of final images I would be very interested.

I also have to say that your choice of model was brilliant, I found Joceline to be very beautiful , extremely talented, helpful and engaging and made everyone feel comfortable and all in all she was simply amazing. Please also thank you wife for the excellent dinner and I have to say your overall package is far superior to anything that I have been to before. (I have been to workshops with some very well known people in the past).

I have now loaded my images and will let you have a few once I have processed and tweaked them and after an quick initial view some cropping and minor changes are all that the majority need so I have achieved more “in camera” than I usually do and this will be a huge benefit to me as I develop so I can say that there have been some instant improvements from attending your workshop. It was great working with you and I look forwards to the next time but thanks once again for a great day, I certainly came away with quite a buzz.”

“I had a great time at your workshop, Joceline was an excellent choice and really came into her own on the last shoot displaying a range of poses to suit the chosen outfits from your collection. Your lighting instruction and review of our images was really helpful I was also enlightened with your tips on how to get the best out of your model and discussion with Joceline on what shoots are like from the models perspective was really insightful.

I have learnt loads and found they day extremely educational, and enjoyable.  Mrs T’s banquet was something else, do thank her too.”

Shot by Mick: Joceline lit by 2 heads

Studio lighting workshops, 4 delegates max – tutor John Tisbury – Sat 14th April, Rushden, Northamptonshire

I’ve just released the last dates that I plan to run my studio lighting workshops for 2012.

Intermediate Studio Lighting Workshops

Level: Intermediate

Who should attend:

These sessions are for photographers who would like to add to their existing studio skills and knowledge. If you are comfortable setting your camera to manual and triggering lights then this session will take you to the next stage. There will be a refresher session to make sure everyone starts at the same level of knowledge, so don’t worry if you’ve not used a studio light before.

Session contents:

  • A quick re-cap on the basics
  • Exploring different types of light; hard, soft, direct, indirect
  • Exploring different types of studio light, flash, constant, ringflash
  • Using more than one light
  • Directing and working with models
  • Full-time professional model working to full frontal nude
  • 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Lunch and all beverages included

Number of delegates: 4

Duration: 10.00am – 17.00pm

Cost: £250 per person

Dates: Saturday 14th April (3 places available)

Book now: http://www.johntisbury.co.uk/photography-workshops.htm

Location: My Studio, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK


1 space on Sat 18th Feb studio lighting workshop

<Update Sat 11th Feb> the remaining space has now been filled, future dates are: Saturday 17th March and Saturday 14th April


<original post>I have one space that has just become available on one of my Studio Lighting Workshops for Saturday 18th February 2012.

Lit by a 300W ARRI head with fresnel lens

Lit by 2 Elinchrom softboxes

Intermediate Studio Lighting Workshop

Level: Intermediate

Who should attend:

This session is for photographers who would like to add to their existing studio skills and knowledge. If you are comfortable setting your camera to manual and adjusting lights then this session will take you to the next stage. There will be a refresher session to make sure everyone starts at the same level of knowledge.

Session contents:

  • A quick re-cap on the basics
  • Exploring different types of light; hard, soft, direct, indirect
  • Exploring different types of studio light, flash, constant, ringflash
  • Using more than one light
  • Directing and working with models
  • Full-time professional model working to full frontal nude
  • 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Lunch and all beverages included

Number of delegates: 4

Duration: 10.00am – 17.00pm

Cost: £250 per person

Book now: 1 place available

Location: My Studio, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK

Click for more info…

Delegates gather and chat

Guest Speaker at Eroticon – March 2012, Bristol, UK

I’m speaking at Eroticon on Saturday 3rd March 2012 in Bristol, so I thought it was time to pull together some ideas and thoughts for the content of what I’m going to talk about. This article is two fold, firstly it will help me to pull my ideas together and to make sure I cover everything and secondly the structure and approach may help others if you’ve been asked to do a similar thing, e.g. give a talk or lecture.

The audience

The audience will be sex bloggers. Who I hear you say. Yes that’s right sex bloggers; people who write, blog or enthuse about sex. Be they Journalists, Writers, Publishers, Reviewers, PR people or Marketeers. They all have one thing in common which is they are all involved, directly or indirectly, with writing about sex in one form or another.

The requirements

I have 60 minutes to talk about photography, which is not very long at all. So it needs to be interesting, informative, fun and hopefully interactive. For this duration of talk I need to cover about 4 to 5 topic areas, any more and I won’t do them justice, any less and they could become labored and may not be of interest to some of the audience. If you have a mixture of topics then some people will find at least a couple of them interesting if not all of them.

My objectives

To inform an audience of mainly non-photographers, how to take better photos of themselves, their partners or products they are writing about without the need to buy expensive photographic equipment.

My brief

Ruby Kiddell contacted me asking if I’d be interested in talking at Eroticon. What sort of talk did you have in mind I asked. ‘Well many people want to know how to take better pictures of themselves, their partner or things they are writing about, product reviews for example’ she explained. Count me in I said I’d love to talk on that subject, and so the session was booked.

My approach

Okay, so know your audience is one of the key things, especially to be effective in these short sessions. I’ve been doing research on the other speakers, as well as looking at the work of Ruby and her fellow professional, so I’ve a good idea about the audience. In a nutshell, I’m wanting to help people improve their picture taking without having to spend loads of money, or better still any money, or become techno geeks in the process. Simple tips, ideas and techniques is the name of the game.

Below I’ve jotted down a list of my ideas so far, it’s not in any sort of order, as I said earlier I’m using this list as a brainstorming session on a whiteboard. Some of the ideas will hit the cutting room floor, others will spark of additional ideas, others will form the greater part of the session content. I will be adding to this list over the coming days…

  • Self timers
  • Gorilla pod
  • Light tent for product shots
  • White Balance settings
  • Improving on camera flash
  • white bounce
  • Tin foil bounce
  • Devices to support camera
  • Poor examples verse improved examples
  • Self-taken shots at arms length
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • Top Tips
  • 10 ways to improve your photographs
  • Show examples of poor verses improved images using data projector
  • Camera phones – the reality
  • Point and shoot cameras
  • Lighting on a budget

To find out more about Eroticon 2012 visit the website

Interior with manfrotto paper roll system

Small group workshop 23rd July 2011

Update 02th July 20:31 – now fully booked

There is one place left on my the next small group workshop. These sessions are for up to 4 photographers allowing plenty of time for shooting, reviewing and getting to know everyone – as well as learning and having fun. Our model for the day will be KatyCee, one of the UK’s top full-time professional models. Katy and I will be on hand to help you learn and ensure you get the most of the day.

The workshop details:

  • Saturday 23rd July 2011
  • 10.00am – 5.00pm
  • Professional model – KatyCee
  • Location, my studio, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK
  • Lunch & refreshments included
  • £250

We will cover the following topics during the session:

  • Studio flash
  • Constant lighting
  • Different Lighting setups
  • Working with a single light
  • Working with multiple lights
  • Working with models
  • Directing models
  • Creative ideas

Review and set activities will form part of the day to ensure that when you leave you can put the things you’ve learnt into practise. My sessions are informal yet structured and allow time for questions and discussion.

Some of the equipment available to use is:

  • Elinchrom studio flash heads x 6
  • Broncolor ring flash x 1
  • ARRI constant lighting heads x 5
  • Broncolor Mobil 2 kit x 1
  • Elinchrom 6 foot Octa Softbox x 1
  • Elinchrom 5 foot Recta Softboxes x 2
  • Elinchrom 130cm x 50cm Softboxes x 2
  • Lighttools soft egg grids for 130cm softbox x 2
  • Flats, reflectors (various)
  • Grids, barndoors (various)
  • Umbrellas, snoots (various)
  • Backdrop system with vinyl and paper rolls
  • Plenty of props, accessories and clothes

The style covered during the session will be art-nude and erotic mainly but we will be also be doing some portraits.

More details on how to reserve the last place on this workshop, or put your name down for a future session, can be found on my website at the following page: http://www.johntisbury.co.uk/photography-workshops.htm


Small group studio lighting workshop

In June I ran another ever popular small group workshop, these sessions cater for a maximum of 4 delegates and are held in my studio. Our model for the day was KatyCee, who is a fabulous and experienced full-time model. Jill, my wife, looked after the catering side of things which she does with much panache and skill.

The session takes delegates through various lighting set-ups and styles with the aim to show different lighting setups but more importantly for the delegates to be able to re-create the setups next time they are in a studio or at home. For this session we also got the opportunity to use my new Lighttools Soft Egg Crates with their stretch frames http://www.lighttools.com/ which had just arrived from Canada. Below I’ve included some of my images from the session with an explanation of how each of them was lit and what equipment was used. Finally, I’ve added a gallery at the end of this post to showcase the images submitted by the delegates who attended the session.


1. KatyCee was lit by two 130cm x 50cm Elinchrom softboxes each fitted with Lighttools 30 degree soft egg crates. Powered by two 400BX Elinchrom heads. A very simple yet effective setup that gives pleasing shadows to add contouring, shape and form to Katy. The softlight from the softbox remains controllable due to the egg crates allowing you to control the direction of the light as well as spill.


2. The control you can get with the egg crates is superb, in the short time I’ve used them they have allowed me to review and re-appraise my lighting approach of how I light my subjects giving me more tools to light subjects with.

3. Another setup used the grey painted wall in my studio which we lit with Lee coloured gels. In the example below we used two lights set behind KatyCee, each fitted with a pink gel pointing at the grey wall.  You can experiment with the fall off from the colour to grey and either increase of decrease the vignette effect by moving the lights closer or further away from the back wall, as well as changing the direct to which they are pointing. The main front light is a large Elinchrom softbox with a soft egg crate fitted.


4. This next setup uses the ARRI 300w continuous light which comes fitted with a fresnel lens (prouncouned fray-nel). The Fresnel lens was invented by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel originally for lighthouses. In the diagram below, the Fresnel lens 1. is compared to a conventional lens 2. For cinematography and photography the Fresnel lens provides a wonderful light that is very bright and focused but with a very soft-edged beam, so it’s often used as a wash light. In the making of motion pictures, or photography it’s also useful because of its ability to focus the beam brighter than a typical lens, but also because the light is a relatively consistent intensity across the entire width of the beam of light. I’ve provided a link to a short 5 minute science video on the differences between the two types of lens and the advantages of the Fresnel lens over a traditional lens for lighthouse application: http://vega.org.uk/video/programme/226


5. and 6. show a setup that I don’t use too often but does bring wonderful results for body landscapes and art nude. Two lights fitted with wide angle reflectors are positioned directed onto the white backdrop. They are adjusted to F9 – F11 but no more, we are shooting at F8 on the camera. Then around the model is placed black bounces they they bounce black onto the skin. It’s a simple setup and a similar approach is often used in commercial photography when photographing and lighting glassware or spectacles. It gives a black edge or rim to the glass making it stand out against the background. This setup can be a little more challenging to shoot and I often find it gives better results if you shoot tight and close-up rather than trying to go for a three-quarter or full-length shot.



A few comments from the delegates on this last session:

Thank you very much for yesterday’s course which I thoroughly enjoyed. Katie is a stunning model with loads of personality. Also thanks to your wife for an excellent lunch. David

I wanted to thank you for an awesome session at the weekend. …Although I was not as experienced as the other guys! I did, however, pick up loads of info to get me properly started in Studio photography so thank you so much for that! …and could you please pass on my thanks to Jill also for the wonderful food. Rik

It has been a week now since the workshop, it was a fantastic day and the knowledge and your advice has been slowly but surely filtering in, and still is. Thanks again for a tremendous day, I had a great shoot the next day thanks to the encouragement and enthusiasm I got from the day with a master. Look forward to working again with you one day in the future. Please convey my thanks and appreciation to your fabulous model. Roy

Gallery of images from the delegates attending the workshop, more to come as they edit and send them through to me.


Joceline by Karen Jones

Small Group Photography Tuition Workshop

Below are some of the results from my May Small Group Workshop more images to be added as the delegates send them through.

Thank you to Richard Lund and Karen Jones for sharing their images: