Right at the end of the year I managed to get to work with Xanthe Rose again. I cannot believe it was so long since we’d last made photos together. That was a Speedlite workshop in March 2020 just before the world was tipped upside down.

Working with Xanthe Rose is a true pleasure, she’s a friendly collaborator on a creative journey that you get to enjoy together. Our first setup brought a range of challenges for post processing, challenges that the camera hides at the time. This photo is lit with flash, low energy bulbs and overcast daylight, it’s got more colours of light in the frame than most software can handle. Canon auto white balance however can handle the mixture of light sources and gives a great result. It’s when you put the RAW in Lightroom and try to choose a single white balance for the whole frame that you realise what a superb job Canon does with in-camera auto white balance.

I have made use of a holiday deal from Lenses for Hire, they’d offered 18-days extra rental if you rented for 3-days. So I’m using the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens not my usual RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM for these shots below.

With two table lamps, in front and behind her there’s a warm tone, window light from the overcast day and flash too. I really love this relaxed style of shot.

A change of outfit, location – a different chair – and less daylight. Whoever thinks flash is too cold and clinical should perhaps think again. I don’t have to think again, I’m going to be working with Xanthe Rose again in 2022 for sure.

Xanthe Rose Instagram.

So that’s it, 12-days of pictures for another year. I have enjoyed working with so many people this year despite Covid restrictions. The first few months when we seemed to be in endless lockdown and not able to just make photos with friends were really tough, but I got through and really enjoyed working with all the folks who stood in front of my camera this year, even those who aren’t in the 12-pictures this year.

For 2022, I’m looking forward to some more in-person workshops for cameras and Speedlites, plus shooting some more motorsports.


About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag