Studio Lighting with touch of Vintage ~ Lots of Pictures & Techniques

May 7, 2010 | Flash, Studio | 20 comments

Here is a set of images from Thursdays studio lighting workshop. All my pictures on the day were shot with my Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro lens on a 5D mk2 camera. The lens is surprisingly light to hold, pin sharp, and has a rock steady viewfinder image thanks to the amazing 4 stop image stabilisation. Chloe Jasmine from Gingersnap was our model. The fabulous hair styles and make up were provided by our make up artist of choice at the Lovegrove studio, Vicky Waghorn.

Timeless beauty, lit with hard light (Bowens Gemini ProR 750 with a 7" reflector and tight grid) to create rick dark shadows, clearly defined cheekbones

Timeless beauty, lit with hard light (2x Bowens Gemini ProR 750s with 7" reflectors and tight grids) to create rick dark shadows, and clearly defined cheekbones. The low viewpoint and over the shoulder look create an opportunity for an intense moment. You can see into Chloe's soul in this frame and I love that in a portrait.

The workshop started with a simple demonstration of the property of shadows and went on to creating vintage portraits with ‘hard lights’ using a one light setup.

A single pool of light was my first rig of choice. Keeping images simple is one of my golden rules. My studio walls are predominately painted in dark grey

A single pool of light was my first rig of choice. Keeping images simple is one of my golden rules. My studio walls are predominately painted dark grey to help control spill light from lifting the shadows in my images. Notice the Hollywood cheek triangle in this shot. The unlit left eye increases the drama in this shot.

And this is what the set up looked like in colour. Golden locks and a simple pose give this shot it's charm.

And this is what the set up looked like in colour. Golden locks and a simple pose give this shot it's charm. Identical lighting as used in the shot above.

There's nowt like a bit of fun on a photo shoot and wow what a day we had. Chloe was full of surprises and giggles.

There's nowt like a bit of fun on a photo shoot and wow what a day we had. Chloe was full of surprises and giggles.

The gentle touch. Lit with just a pair of flash heads with 7" reflectors and grids.

The gentle touch. Lit using just the modeling lights of a pair of flash heads with 7" reflectors and grids. Focused on the finger tips. Maybe this works, maybe not - you decide.

I lit this frame with flash and left the white balance set to 3200k. Luke who edited this set of pictures decided to put the white balance back where it belonged in Lightroom.

I lit this frame with flash and left the white balance set to 3200k. Luke who edited this set of pictures decided to put the white balance back where it belonged in Lightroom.

I gave Luke a magazine cutting from my look book and asked him to replicate the post production look on some of these shots.

I gave Luke a magazine cutting from my look book and asked him to replicate the post production look on some of these shots.This one light portrait was taken using a Bowens Wafer soft box.

A delicate touch came easily to Chloe. Her true professionalism shone through to the pictures.

A delicate touch came easily to Chloe. Her true professionalism shone through to the pictures.

One of my lighting workshop sessions wouldn't be complete without a rim lit shot.

One of my lighting workshop sessions wouldn't be complete without a rim lit shot.

And here's my tea stained look again. I used my Fat Boy bean bag as the set for these next few pictures.

And here's my tea stained look again. I used my Fat Boy bean bag as the set for these next few pictures.

Part of the role of a studio photographer is to create the moments to capture. Some are steely and intense and other are just fun and carefree.

Part of the role of a studio photographer is to create the moments to capture. Some are steely and intense and other are just fun and carefree.

One of my pink leather bucket seats was the prop for this shot. The diagonal composition and the

One of my pink leather bucket seats was the prop for this shot. The diagonal composition and Chloe's steely expression provided the tension.

Here is the last of my tea stained set. Lit with a single light in my white corner.

Here is the last of my tea stained set. Lit with a single light in my white corner.

We finished the morning session off with the first of our three point lighting styles.

We finished the morning session off with the first of our three point lighting styles.

Powder blue light on my dark grey wall gave us the look for this beauty shot.

Powder blue light on my dark grey wall gave us the look for this beauty shot. 4 hard lights and a reflector made light work of our cover shot session.

All the colour in this session was provided by the Lovegrove Gel collection. We chose the colours using the colour charts published on this blog.

All the colour in this session was provided by the Lovegrove Gel collection. We chose the colours using the colour charts published on this blog.

The Lovegrove gels are here and the looks that can be created are shown on this colour chart here.

This colour really is produced by firing a studio flash through a Lovegrove Gel on to a grey wall.

This colour really is produced by firing a studio flash through a Lovegrove Gel on to a grey wall. When you first see the shot on the camera screen it makes you jump in disbelief.

I blitzed the light through this flame red gel until it bleached the centre zone creating this sunny look.

I blitzed the light through this flame red gel until it bleached the centre zone creating this sunny look.

Then it was time for a shocker of a shot. A single light portrait with a difference. If you have only one light you can really create striking images with the right know how.

Then it was time for a shocker of a shot. A single light portrait with a difference. If you have only one light you can really create striking images with the right know how.

Minimalist lighting and a twirl. This is what you get when you switch off all the down stage lights in a Lovegrove rig.

Minimalist lighting and a twirl. This is what you get when you switch off all the down stage lights in a Lovegrove rig.

Here is another interesting look. The background for these shots is Colourama 'Coffee' paper roll.

Here is another interesting look. The background for these shots is Colourama 'Coffee' paper roll.

Chloe and my Lovecube.

Chloe and my Lovecube. I used a pair of 3/4 backlights too.

There was time for the Arri 300 to come out of the cupboard too. We went for the goddess look and I used a slash of light in my white corner of the studio. I always set ISO 800, 1/60th second at f/4 but this time I used f/2.8 because the 100mm lens is biting sharp at wide open.

There was time for the Arri 300 to come out of the cupboard too. We went for the goddess look and I used a slash of light in my white corner of the studio. I always set ISO 800, 1/60th second at f/4 but this time I used f/2.8 because the 100mm lens is biting sharp at wide open.

The white balance for these shots was 6500k. Fill light was provided by a random light pointing into the roof of the studio.

The white balance for these shots was 6500k. Fill light was provided by a random light pointing into the roof of the studio.

I switched off all the lights and opened the door to get this shot using a bit of evening daylight. Intensity of rapport and look makes the picture.

I switched off all the lights and opened the door to get this shot using a bit of evening daylight. Intensity of rapport and look makes the picture.

I loved this shoot and could go on and post all 80 shots from my selection but I’ve chosen to show just 25 that caught my eye.

If you want to improve your studio lighting skills why not join me on a workshop in my bijou but perfectly formed studio sizing up at just 7m x 5m. You will learn how to create simple and effective portraits with just one light at times. My lighting modifiers are minimalist to say the least so you won’t be going away with a massive shopping list. It’s technique that counts and you will learn how to really take control of your lights. All my studio lighting workshops are limited to just 3 delegates for perfect balance and training opportunity. We always start with the basics and build from there. Details are here. When one event becomes full we usually add another date so do check back regularly.

Please feel free to add comments in the box below.

20 Comments

  1. damien

    Hi Shiny,

    Yes, I’ve used Gingersnap for over four years now. We have our own negotiated rates and term etc. Most agencies have different terms for commercial shoots and test shoots etc. We have different needs again as we are a training establishment.

    We use about 10 models each month from Gingersnap so we could be considered trading partners. We certainly look after each other.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  2. damien

    Hi Mart,

    I’ll have my 100mm lens in my bag and no 70-200 zoom tomorrow in Amsterdam. It will be great to shoot alongside you with the same optic.

    Cheers,

    Damien.

    Reply
  3. damien

    Hi George,

    I agree with you. The 100mm feels so perfectly balanced on the 5D mk2. It’s a lens that leaves me not wanting more. The crisp pictures and clarity of contrast makes the pictures pop without the need to add punch in post production.

    Cheers, Damien.

    Reply
  4. damien

    Thanks for being there Susan and Chris.

    You made the effort and you get to reap the rewards. I got to have a day of picture making fun with you too.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  5. damien

    Thanks Lucy, Roger, Ian, Will and Martin for your compliments.

    Reply
  6. damien

    Hi Chloe,

    You were great, I’m definitely going to book you again. Thanks for your kind words,

    Damien.

    Reply
  7. Chris Thomas

    Another Awesome day at the Lovegroves, 100 % spot on.
    Damien Motivates, educates and inspires. and with Marco as his right hand man, I only wish they were going to the World Cup, we may just need them…….

    Reply
  8. Martin

    Very beautiful shots Damien these are really excellent.

    Reply
  9. Shiny

    Notice that you use Gingersnap, a member of the association of model agents. May I assume that you negotiate more favourable terms of business than are shown as standard on their website….esp. for example that one may only make use of one image for one year from a shoot. Do you usually have an agreed set of uses which you always request when you book models?

    Reply
  10. Ian

    Wow – these are stunning. The first shot is simply superb, as is “the shocker of a shot”. Frankly, they all are.

    Reply
  11. Mart-G

    I’m liking the touch of vintage, some classic images there, and further motivation for me to attend one of your studio workshops.

    Good to see you’ve got your 100mm f/2.8 L IS, and are pleased with it. Following the excellent results I achieved with mine on your recent Speedlight Mastery workshop in Manchester, I’m really looking forward to shooting with you in the Dam on Thursday and learning more of your invaluable techniques.

    Reply
  12. Susan Renée

    Learned so much with your relaxed, informative and generous teaching style. Thank you for a great day – I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their repertoire of studio techniques. The hospitality was wonderful too. Thank you Damien, Julie & Blaise & Marko.

    Reply
  13. George

    Glad you enjoyed the 100mm IS.

    All my other lenses surprisingly now seem slightly soft after using this lens for some time. The focus has a real ‘snap’ to it.

    Look closely at the bokeh quality too – it’s awesome.

    Cheers

    Reply
  14. Roger

    Outstanding Damien the tea-stained tone is really, really good…must get on one of the studio courses

    Rog

    Reply
  15. CJ Whichello

    Excellent work! It was a joy to work with you . Its’ amazing what you can produce in one studio in a matter of hours !

    Chloe x

    Reply
  16. Lucy

    I absolutely adore the B&W shots at the top of this post – so beautiful! And her pose in the pink bucket seat is just gorgeously elegant

    Reply
  17. Darren Bell

    Simply WOW. Stunning work.

    Now i have to save for the Cherish and this course!! :-)

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers, Darren :)

      Reply

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