Marcus Bell’s Post-Production Workshop

Not too long ago, the Light Collections team enjoyed an incredible learning experience at the Marcus Bell’s Post-Production Workshop.  It was held at the beautiful Maud St Gallery, Newstead, the perfect setting for unpacking the nuance and workflow of this master photographer. 

As we said in our blog about his photography retreat at Spicer’s Peak Lodge, we believe Marcus is one of the best photographers in the world.  Not only is he so humble, genuine and generous with sharing his knowledge, he is also one of the kindest people you will ever meet.  So of course, we were very excited to spend some more time crafting our skills, learning how he manages his workflow and creates his masterpieces.

Arriving at Maud Street Photo Gallery

As soon as we entered Maud Street Photo Gallery, it was clear that we were in for a fantastic post-production workshop.  The contemporary space has many incredible works displayed in its foyer, which we paused to admire.  It was as if they had been placed there purposefully for this workshop – to inspire us.  Moving further into the full gallery, which would be our home for the day, we sat down at a personalised workspace, oriented towards Marcus’ projected screen.  Each of the desks had its own power source, notepad, and printed resources – ready for us to plug in and get started.

At the far end of the gallery space was a wide selection of refreshments which would be available to us throughout the day.  However we were far too excited to explore those, as we were quickly welcomed by Marcus.  He was his usual amazing-self, and expressed how happy he was to see us, and how wonderful it was that we had decided to come along.

Marcus took the time to familiarise us with the space and discussed what he had planned for the day.  As we sat down, we noted the wide array of exciting prizes in one corner, which would be drawn later on, as part of the workshop.  These included everything from a brand-new WACOM Intuos Pro Tablet, through to Calibrite Colour Checker Passports, Calibrite Colour Checker Display Pro, Pixellu 12 Month Subscription, and even some Photography Australia magazines.

Starting Marcus Bell’s Post Production Workshop

Soon after, we set up our devices and the workshop formally began.  Marcus’ editing programs of choice are Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. However the workshop also explored other popular programs such as Capture One and Davinci Resolve.  The Light Collections team is quite familiar with these programs, although what became very clear to us across the rest of the day was just how much knowledge and expertise Marcus had built with them over his 20 years as a photographer. He has developed a skillset which is second to none.  Just before we began, Marcus provided an extensive range of his very own Lightroom presets, masks and brushes to utilise throughout the workshop.  He had created these himself over many years, and countless hours of production and was more than willing to share them.

First Session of Marcus Bell’s Post Production Workshop

The first session was dedicated to Lightroom and how Marcus manages his workflow after photographing a wedding. It was so valuable to be shown how someone so experienced works so efficiently through upwards of 800 images from a single shoot.  He described and demonstrated his process and actions from uploading RAW files, to exporting the finished product.  Marcus also explained how and where he makes global adjustments to entire catalogues to speed up workflow, before choosing a few specific hero images to walk through with us in detail. 

His work on choosing these hero image was particularly special.  We discussed the importance of having a vision before you begin to process an image.  Applying the process of darkroom techniques to digital images and using the editing tools available to us to produce a vision.    All of this was underpinned with an in-depth knowledge of how the techniques of classical painters apply to digital image making.  Throughout, we were encouraged to select our own catalogues and images to follow along with Marcus, while he discussed and modelled for us.

Excitingly, Marcus chose to share one of Light Collections’ images as part of a demonstration to the rest of the group.  Our Lead Photographer Jessica had captured this photograph as part of the Spicer’s Peak Lodge weekend photography retreat mentioned above.  Marcus had loved this image so much that he had printed it for everyone to pass around while he discussed the techniques both he and Jessica had used in producing the final version.

Lunch at Marcus Bell’s Post Production Workshop

Time flew, and before we knew it, lunch was ready.  This took the form of some gourmet sliders, salads, and wraps which we ate while networking with the rest of the workshop attendees.  We learned that they were from a variety of photography backgrounds – from Architectural, to Portraiture, and Weddings to Landscapes.  Everyone had a different perspective on the learning, and this was a great thing. It showcased that this type of workshop really does suit photographers from any background.

Second Session of Marcus Bell’s Post Production Workshop

Following lunch, the prizes were drawn before we jumped into the afternoon session – a deep dive into Adobe Photoshop.  Marcus’ skill with this program were on display, as he seamlessly combined the tools and functions to emphasise and build on aspects of an image that Lightroom could not.  We were blown away.  Within minutes, he was able to make numerous adjustments to an image, implementing layers of nuanced change with ease, producing exceptional pieces.  Marcus taught us that often it is the smallest adjustment that can make the resulting image spectacular.


Overall, Marcus Bell’s post-production workshop at Maud Street Photo Gallery was an integral learning experience for the Light Collections team.  One of the things that struck us throughout, was Marcus’ honesty in being vulnerable, and unsure at times – and how these are completely normal for photographers to feel.  It is OK be nervous at times when working with clients in trying to combine your style with their vision.

If you’re looking for a photography post-production workshop, Marcus Bell’s of Studio Impressions is the one.  The physical resources, practical knowledge and program mastery delivered by someone so experienced and renowned should not be missed.

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