Amelia Averescu in Switzerland

Mar 17, 2021 | Flash, GFX, Location, Travel | 7 comments

In the summer of 2020, in the month between lockdowns, I got into my car and drove to Italy. It was a road trip mainly for pleasure with plenty of photography practice built-in. I set up a few shoots along the way with models that I had discovered on Instagram. On my way through Switzerland, I stayed in Fribourg and met up with a friend, Keren Bisaz, for a fun shoot with Amelia.

1. I am putting a book together called Gold Dress so I tend to use this dress quite a bit at the moment in my personal work. I lit Amelia with a single Godox AD200 fitted with a Scatterflash attachment using the ‘Crunch’ gel. This gives beautifully dappled light and creates a bit of magic in the process.

2. Right opposite my hotel entrance was this shuttered window and I thought it would make an interesting photograph. I bought the dress that Amelia is wearing on Alibaba and it worked really well for my road trip shoots.

3. I used reflected sunlight for the shot on the left and the Godox with a Scatterflash for the shots on the right.

The shot on the left was not meant to be, because it was just a random capture that I took before setting up my light and arranging the shots on the right. When I got back to my studio I loved the softness of the light and with a bit of shadow lift in Lightroom the picture took on quite an etherial look. I just wish I had sorted out Amelia’s hair and taken several new frames without poor timing relative to blinks etc. The thing is, I learned something new, so expect to see this kind of wistful tonal balance popping up in my work over the next few months.

4. The top shot here is lit using the Godox AD200 and Scatterflash from high and to the right of the shot. The bottom two shots are lit with sunlight.

5. I wanted sunlight to come through the window but we were at this empty mansion on the wrong time of the day. I decided to make my own sun using the Godox AD200 with a Scatterflash on a high stand out in the garden. I fitted a ½ CTO gel to warm up the light and to allow me to set the room to a colder balance. I used the flash on full power.

6. A Tiffen ½ Black Pro Mist filter on my lens gave the top shots here a halated look that I love. The shot at the bottom was for a moody child narrative. I love the way Amelia is slunk down with her heels on the floor.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section below about these pictures, the lighting or the techniques used.


  1. J Shetley

    I just got the Scatterflash system and have used it on two shoots. Everyone loves the moody photos from these gels – especially me! My question is – you say you only shoot with two lenses….which two? I just got into a GFX system and am trying to sort out the portrait lenses I should invest in.

    • Damien

      Hi J,

      Thank you for buying Scatterflash. The two lenses that I use are the fabulous 32-64mm and the 110mm. These two in combination make the perfect companions.

      The 110mm is the perfect lens head shots and subject separation. Here is a gallery of pictures that I have taken with the 110mm lens:

      I’m in the process of remaking my gallery for the 32-64mm lens but you can see my old one here:

      The 32-64mm is my favourite lens. It covers just the right field of view for environmental portraits. You have options of course like buying the 30mm, 45mm and the 64mm lenses but in my opinion only the 45 is nearly as good as the 32-64 in terms of focussing speed and build quality. The optical quality of the 32-64 is second to none.

      In the longer lens department the 120mm is a great contender. It is lighter than the 110, focusses closer and has OIS, but it doesn’t quite have the magic of the 110.

      I hope this helps you decide.


  2. Bryn

    Once again a great set, and love the use of the scatter flash to add some extra dimention. Have you used them in a still life / product photography scenario, or given their realtive size and distance from the flash head are they not suitable for table top work?

    • Damien

      Hi Bryn,

      Thank you for your questions and compliments. Scatterflash would be perfect for tabletop work simulating dappled sunlight etc. I can imagine it used for food photography especially. I’ve not shot still life but if the right photographer came to me, I’d be happy to swap a kit in exchange for use of a few advertising grade still life shots taken with Scatterflash for sure.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien :)

  3. Paul Schroer

    Hi Damien,

    There is awesome work. I especially like de WB kelvin shift with the CTO gels. Nice!
    One question, how do you decide between 1/4 and 1/2 Black Pro Mist? I know the effect is dependent on the focal length but has it anything to to with the lager GFX sensor? Normally 1/4 would be “enough” in most cases. But here 1/2 is perfectly fine I see. Confusing sometimes as 1/2 in many cases is “too much”. Or maybe it’s just trial and error.

    • Damien

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for the compliments.

      Regarding the Black Pro Mists, I used to use 1/8th and occasionally 1/4th when I was shooting the Hollywood Glamour genre because pint light sources and the high contrast wouldn’t let me get away with anything stronger. This year I’ve been using the 1/2 strength filter with large soft sources in the shot or when shooting dreamy sequences. If it looks too much it is too much :) As the only two lenses that I use are both 77mm it is not too expensive to have multiple strengths of filter.

      I hope this helps.


      • Paul Schroer

        Thank you for your response, Damien. Yes clearly large soft sources make the difference. I love how simple and liberating your “if it looks good, it is good” quote is. It also applies to “too much” haha. Of course you’re right :-). Fujifilm are about to come out with a GF 80mm 1.7 which has also 77mm thread I believe. So regarding to filters this is indeed very clever.

        Thanks again.



Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.