Studio lighting workshop 1


During today’s workshop we were given a set of questions, and to use these as a base upon which to create different lighting set ups within the studio.

1 Using either a soft box or white umbrella with one flash head place the light directly to the side of the model pointing at the model.
Take one shot with a white reflector the other side and one shot with a black reflector.

Is there a difference in the image/if so what is?

Camera Settings: ISO 100, F11, 1/125

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The top image was taken using the white reflector and the bottom with the black. You can clearly see the difference that the reflectors make to the images. The use of the white reflector has bounced the light back onto Jess’ face whereas the black reflector has absorbed the light from the soft box leaving the side of the face closest to the reflector darker and less visible.

2 Place the light at 90 degrees from the model, take a shot and then place a reflector to reflect bounce the light back.
Where did you put the reflector and how much difference did it make?

You can clearly see the difference that the white reflector makes here to the image produced. In the picture taken without it, there is a dark shadow under Jess’ chin which is eliminated by the use of the reflector.

3 Place the light above the camera, how different does this light look in a different position?

The top image was taken without a reflector and you can see that again, the image with the reflector brings out the shadows on the face and neck and gives an overall brightness that is not there without the use of the reflector.


We then decided to try something different and use the snoot behind Jess’ head to see if we could create a glow effect in her hair.

With the above setup we found that the snoot being at an angle to the back of Jess’ head meant that the light was catching on the side of her face in quite a harsh way and it really did not give us the effect that we were trying to achieve.

So we tried again, this time with the snoot pointing directly at the back of Jess’ head and this gave much better results. ( If you ignore the fact that the crane for the light is growing out of the top of her head! We were time constrained ). We also made use of the all important High Rise Fan to give her the windswept look.

For a bit of fun we take a shot without the softbox and just the backlit honeycomb head. The results were quite abstract and I actually quite like the surreal look that it gave.

We then changed model and let the lovely Matt take over.  Firstly we tried a picture with him sitting on the step ladder with a snoot shining on his face at an angle. This gave a very dramatic shadow on the backdrop and lots of contrast between the shadows and highlights.

As you can see from this first attempt, the light was too close to Matt and therefore the highlights on his face were far too harsh. So we decided to move the snoot back a little and the result was much easier on the eye.

Finally we tried lighting the background to give a softer effect to the portrait with the following results

This final image shows the result of just lighting the background, creating a silhouette of Matt against it.

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