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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Discussion Fashion, Editorial & Commercial 
Thread started 29 Jul 2022 (Friday) 14:33
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different photography styles

it looks like im post #19,016
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Jul 29, 2022 14:33 |  #1

so ive been following Peter Coulson for a couple of years now. i watch some of his vids, then forget about him and go back after i think of him again.

he's apparently done very well for himself over the years in Australia and i like his minimalist approach (from what i can see) to fashion/commercial photography.

just a question for the F,E&C shooters here. how many would shoot 1,000s of beautiful models and not use lighting to provide a catch light in the eyes?

im just curious because his style is to convert everything to BW and a LOT OF IT, in my vision looks rather underexposed, and with no catch lights. he likes to shoot in bright mid-day sun using natural modifiers (white buildings reflecting sunlight or even a marble column in front of a building) and there's rarely a catchlight that i can see...

im just curious what others think of this, its not a criticism of his work...

-im just trying. sometimes i succeed

I'm a chimper. There I said it...
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Aug 02, 2022 18:36 |  #2

If someone is doing what everyone else is doing then they are in the herd. And if someone is in the herb then they will probably never reach his level. He is there because his work looks like his work and the people with the real money search him out because if they need his look for a project they need to go to him for that. Because everyone else is doing it the way everyone else is doing it.

Make ­ it ­ snappy
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Post edited 6 months ago by Make it snappy. (2 edits in all)
Mar 07, 2023 06:49 |  #3

Agree 100%.

LTDave….you like his work, so do I, so the absence of catchlight and the, perceived, under exposure didn’t spoil our appreciation of his work.

A lot of people are breaking ( so called ) Rules. The difference is he is an excellent photographer who developed his style and “Look”. Others break the rules without it resulting in a great picture. The key is……learn your craft, be a great photographer/ artist…… and regardless of the “rules” your pictures will be compelling.

Reminds me of bad wedding photography……….some label their stuff Reportage. When all it is is the photographer not knowing about lighting, timing, posing etc. And then ,,,,,,you get great photographers doing Reportage and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Learn your craft. Be a great photographer. Break the rules. = Develop your “Look”.

Apologies for the late reply…….popped out for a bit.


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Mar 07, 2023 07:02 |  #4

I think one thing to consider when we start talking about styles, art and rules is the concept of a rule in art.

Often I prefer to think in terms of theories not rules, because in the end most of the "rules" are just theoretical conventions boiled down to very simplistic, quick and easy to understand/take on board concepts. They are things that are taught because they provide a structured, formal framework that people can easily grasp, engage with and replicate. They are a powerful learning and development tool.

However if you only engage in them as rules then you can often feel constrained, limited and like the rules are enforcing only one approach - which they mostly are. It can also baffle people when two rules conflict each other or when someone "breaks" a rule and it "works".

That is kind of the next level that a lot of beginner books, videos and such often overlook or make assumptions about. The next level is moving from the "rules" to the theories. That is understanding the underlaying principles of the rule. Why it is what it is, why it works, what its doing, why its doing it etc... Basically understanding the theory of composition/exposure behind the rule.

Once you start to understand the theories you start to realise that many rules are simply common "best results" models that take pros and cons; then weigh them up in a single, repeatable approach. That's the rule. When you break the rule what you might actually be doing is still following those underlaying theory concepts, but you're changing the weight you assign to various pros and cons.

Another angle is that for every rule you break you're just learning another rule that you didn't realise was a thing - or rather you're learning a new theory.
Just the same as how most beginner books will use the "rule of 3rds" as a big element of teaching composition. However its only one of many theories of composition and placements are often only one interpretation/use of those theories. So you can certainly learn more than just the 1 theory and branch out. Again you might do this by experimentation and land upon using other compositional theories without formally realising that is what you are doing.

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Mar 19, 2023 15:16 |  #5

nice to hear that you've been following Peters work and appreciate his minimalist approach to fashion and commercial photography. I too am a fan of his work and have been impressed by his ability to capture stunning photos of beautiful women.

I had the opportunity to attend one of his workshops here in Zurich, and I must say that he is a great teacher who is willing to share his knowledge and techniques. During the workshop, he taught us about a beautiful one lighting setup that included catchlights to provide a sparkle in the eyes of the model. It was amazing to see how much of a difference these small details can make in a photograph.

While Peter's style may not always include those catchlights, I think it's important to remember that every photographer has their own unique vision and style. It's what makes their work stand out and can lead to some incredible pieces of art.

If you're interested, I have some photos from the workshop on my website. Have a look at https://arminnussbaume​ (external link)

Mostly Lurking
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Mar 25, 2023 04:57 |  #6

Hey! Whether to use catchlights or not entirely depends on the photographer's individual preference and their aim to convey their story through their pictures. Some prefer to work with more natural light, while others use artificial lighting to create an effect or mood in their photos. Shooting in mid-day sun with natural modifiers is a technique that many photographers use to create unique and appealing pictures. Although working with natural light has its challenges, it's a rewarding approach to photography when executed correctly.

looks like I picked a bad week to give up halucinagens
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Post edited 4 months ago by ImageMaker.... (2 edits in all)
Jun 03, 2023 06:39 |  #7

No reason. Just wanted to post something…. Like white clothes on a white background.

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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
Jun 03, 2023 11:00 |  #8

My personal approach considers supplemental artificial lighting to often mimic naturally occuring light. We do NOT always see catchlights of those who we there is no rule that we 'have to' have catchlights always occurring. Yes, catchlights can 'add life' (or viewer interest) to eyes in portrait sitters, but if shooting full length rather than head & shoulders, that catchlight might scarcely be visible for its tiny size in the photo. And what is done for artistic reasons often defies ordinary expectations.

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different photography styles
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