Stuttgart studio workshop ~ Pictures

Mar 29, 2012 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, Location, Studio | 10 comments

The Stuttgart sessions 2012 – Part 1

1. A single Lupolux 1200 light with a simple modifier and an in camera white balance shift was all I used for this striking shot of Patricia Vitacca taken on my Fuji X100. (I was on a set of step ladders looking down to the floor. Patricia’s legs were up the wall)

Day 1 of 2 in Stuttgart was a studio lighting workshop using the fabulous resources and facilities at the Park Studio. Our model was Patricia from Seka Models. Makeup and hair was by Anika Eisenschmidt of Alba Frei beauty. Here are 30 of my images

Park studios occupy two floors of this impressive historic building on the site of the now disused Stuttgart military airport. Apparently during the first gulf war the international military resources were coordinated from this building.

Park studio run by Stephan Glathe and Bernhard Frei is a complex of multi use client areas and 5 shooting rooms. Each of the shooting rooms is bigger than my studio so it was an absolute luxury to have free run of the facilities.

The view up the steps from the studio entrance.

The location I used for these shots was the daylight studio with it’s white infinite cove. The studio is equipped with a rail and pantograph system and more Broncolor heads, packs and modifiers than I’ve ever seen in one place. I chose to keep the lighting simple and repeatable by the delegates so I used simple reflectors and low power settings on the Sorco asymmetric pack.

Make up was by Anika Eisenschmidt of Alba Frei. I was far enough from the bright white cove for it to be rendered a dark grey in my beauty lighting session.

With the key light and background lights added the scene looked like this. Picked up at shot 10 below.

2. Our session started with just one light and a white wall. I then showed the delegates how my simple contrast control system works to lift the detail on the unlit side of the face.

3. One light photography using a Broncolor standard reflector and grid set.

4. The same light as in the shot above but shot from the other side. I try to get several different looks from each lighting set up. efficiency of operation is vital to deliver enough ‘must have’ shots from each session to make a healthy profit.

5. The second set up was a wet hair look. This was perfect prep for the scalped back look I wanted for the beauty set. I opened the curtains and just shot with natural light for these few images.

6. High key is not really my thing but crop in and the shots get interesting. It then comes down to a depth of rapport, trust and intimacy.

7. And from the other side…

8. The ¾ length shot requires shape and design.

9. This was the last natural light set up before we went into the biggest rig of the day for beauty.

10. Wow, I’ve shot this lighting rig using gel 20 from the Lovegrove studio collection many times before but the combination of Patricia’s beauty and Anika’s makeup stopped me in my tracks.

11. A change of gel, white balance and a change of top.

12. Eyes with real lashes – wonderful.

13. With a decent length of studio a high key pure white background can be isolated from the subject are enough to light it with gels. This kind of saturation is captured in camera without the need to boost in post production. In a smaller space the back wall has to be a shade of grey to get the same effect.

14. A leather sofa provided a great background for this one light shot.

15. The background can be lit to any level. The Broncolor systems in this studio gave us a lot of control.

16. A bit of canned smoke added a splash of drama to the scene. The particles are distinct in the air and look like flour at 100% mag.

17. The Lupo 1200 with it’s Fresnel lens was the star of the day. This continuous light shot shows crisp clarity, depth of shadows and control of contrast. White tones are the hardest to expose for and most delegates played too safe on their first attempt.

18. The bare faced Lupolux light is perfect for beauty headshots.

19. a distinct chin shadow separates the jaw line from the neck beautifully. I much prefer hard light to soft light for my portrait work.

20. Anika created this wonderful hair shape for my profile portrait. It’s tempting to nip in with a pair of scissors to trim up the ends but I resisted.

21. I’m fascinated by eyes and eye makeup.

22. A quick interlude resulted in a recreated pose from one of my mood boards.

23. I used my magic water reflector, a Lupolux 800 and a white balance of 4000k for this funky series.



26. I forecast Patricia is going to be a supermodel.

27. A design classic chair and my travel Venetian blind kit in harmony.

28. Even lit from the wrong side with my Lupolux 800 I couldn’t fail to get a good shot of Patricia. That Fresnel lens light is electric.

29. Wonderful beauty so young.

Stephan has kindly invited me back to Stuttgart to rerun these workshops at his amazing studio facilities. I felt that both models worked well and by the end of each day I’d struck a good rapport with them. I’d be happy to rebook either of them and indeed Wlada my other favourite German model. If you would like to be part of these workshops please do contact Blaise my PA for more information. If demand is there, I will return.

Blaise is always open to suggestions so if you have access to a fabulous location and can help arrange a workshop please do get in touch.

The Lupo lights I used are here.

Please feel free to comment on the shoot if you were there or the pictures and techniques used.


  1. Rajen Panchal

    ya …very nice posture..i find in model and hi potential for future. get more photos in dark or low lite ..

    • damien

      Thank you Rajen :)

  2. david cooke

    OMG No 10 gobsmackingly brilliant Damien

    • damien

      Thank you David :)

  3. Chris Hanley

    I never tire of looking at your work. Shot 1 …kerching !

  4. Isaiah Bellais

    Damien my man! I came away from Stuttgart with some of the best shots I have ever taken – and certainly some great additions to my portfolio; however,after seeing this post, I could kick myself for not getting a shot of her eyes as you have in 12 & 21. :)

    You are a scholar and a gentleman. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • damien

      Hi Isaiah,

      You made a great impression on me. I love the way you think, the random amongst the order. I want to extract oils and compare notes ;) I do hope our paths cross again soon. Great respect and many thanks for your compliments and company, Damien.

  5. Phil Sewell

    Fantastic set of pictures as always no.2 favorite but 10 & 11 very striking.

  6. Tony Bayliss

    Wow! Great set of images Damien, must have been a fantastic workshop! Love no.29, something very Audrey Hepburn which you have to love.

    • damien

      Thanks Tony, Phil and Chris :)


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