Recreating the Brandon Woelfel look with A Colour Story / Charley Lucy

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Recreating the Brandon Woelfel look with A Colour Story

Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 3
Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 1Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 2
Brandon Woelfel Fairy Lights Colour Dark Light Instagram Tutorial Panasonic 3
This post features sponsored content from Panasonic.

Lately, I’ve been spotting no end of Tumblr-esque fairy-light portraits on Instagram. You know the ones I’m talking about with the effortless, messy hair, hipster glasses and a neon sign or two. One of my favourite Instagram photographers has this set-up down to a fine art. His name is Brandon Woelfel and I began to follow him after seeing whimsical shots of larger Youtubers started popping up on my Instagram feed.

So, I set myself a challenge to recreate these almost-magical scenes without a photographer or budget to splurge on props, using my DSLR, tripod, remote and string of copper fairy lights from the pound shop - I actually ended up using mason-light jars, hence the gold lid.

After a little trial and error, the best method I found when shooting this alone was to set my camera up as normal in a dimly lit room, get the lights into position and then tape them to the camera before shooting using a high shutter speed, or night setting. As you can see above, with a little tweaking the photo turned out fairly well, considering the low level of light.

Thankfully the rest of the magic here lies in the editing; for which I forwent my go-to Lightroom and Photoshop in favour of something more accessible. Having already completed basic lighting and colour tweaks on the photo so my features were nicely visible, I started to play around with the filters on one of my favourite photo editing apps, A Colour Story. On the dark background, I found the ‘Flare 8’ and ‘Flare 9’ effects from the Flare & Bokeh Effects pack were the most effective at creating colourful bursts. There are plenty of different lighting effects to choose from.

All in all, the entire process took around an hour which, I would argue, is far too long for me to spend for the sake of an Instagram post. However, shooting in such low light was a good learning experience for me and, I had a lot of fun playing around with the lighting effects too!

Panasonic* also have some great ideas on how to spice up your photos with bursts of light and colour with this incredible steel wool spinning technique by Visual Matrix. Please leave this one to the professionals and stay safe!


What creative techniques and photo editors do you use to liven up your Instagram photos?
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