Skip to main content

Creating Portraits with my New Bowens Lighting Gear and a Lastolite Skylite

It seems like the wish list is never ending when it comes to kit. Even with this new kit I still have 3 more very desirable items I wish to acquire over the next 12 months. But I'll have to see how the budget goes first.


Anyway, in order to have a test run I requested the assistance of a couple of lovely young ladies. The first being Vickie Deakin who is a newly qualified makeup artist. As she is a friend of my step daughter I'd seen her work on Facebook and thought she was worth a try. I'd used makeup artists in the past but hadn't found one I was happy with, until now that is. I, myself don't know much about makeup but seeing Vickie work I am confident that she does. And I look forward to working with her again in future.


And the second is our lovely model Faye Strachen. I stumbled across her photo on Facebook as she too is a friend of my step daughter. I liked her look and I wanted to work with someone more typical of the sort of person who might use my services, rather than an experienced model. And she worked perfectly for this task at hand.

The 2 images above were created using natural light that I modified using the Lastolite Skylite that fits perfectly in my trifold door. I love the light this gives and it was perfect for this look. However its not always possible to get this quality of light (depending on the time of day I am shooting and just how bright the light is at the time) so I can't rely on it. I'm currently working on using my large softbox in conjunction with the Lastolite Skylite to achieve this look whenever I want it. I shall post more on this subject when I feel I've got it just right.  For now though, here is a pull back shot of how I used the Lastolite Skylite with the trifold door.


Makeup-wise, we started with more of a day look for these bright boudoir type images then worked our way up to dark smoky eyes for more of the beauty shots. And it was for these beauty shots that I started using the new lights. This technique has been taught by Faye and Trevor Yerbury and it was something I wanted to try, although I added a third light from below to add a little something else to the shot. For this I used my new Bowens strip boxes (100x40cm) along with my old Bowens 60cm square softbox on a floor stand. It created beautiful soft light along with some interesting catchlights.


The same technique was used for the image below.  Its a bit of a ringflash sort of look, something else I've been wanting to invest in but that is quite a lot out of budget so the ringflash could be years away for me. But it sure would be fun.


Here is a pull back image of this lighting set up.  I will definitely be using this again.


The next 2 images were created with the beauty dish. This is a lovely light too. I don't have a pull back of this set up. I often forget to do pull back shots but I'm trying to make a point of doing so more often. The beauty dish is a gorgeous light that works so well with beauty type setups, hence its name.




I that brings us to the Fresnel spot light. This is such a great light and I just did not do it justice. It was definitely one of those cases where I tried to do too much in one session. We all pretty much had had enough by this point. But I just had to try it. I've wanted this light modifier for years and I finally have it now.  So I'd better start making good use of it. But this is what I got for now.  I'm really looking forward to getting to grips with this new tool.


I am going to love working with my new equipment and really getting to know it all like I know my large softbox. Thats the problem really.  I am so comfortable with my usual lighting that its hard to move away from it. But I'll get there and I'm going to have great fun doing so.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work.

In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below.


(It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain)
I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me seemed somewha…

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

Do You Have a Little Pirate in Your Family?

If so, why not capture it in a beautiful portrait so you can cherish these memories forever?


I designed and built this set for a client. She came to me with a son and daughter and during the consultation we discussed the interests of the children, as I always do. Our ideas for portraits for her daughter were going to be easy. She loved the idea of modelling pretty dresses so her shoot was sorted. Her son on the other hand was more difficult. Where ever possible I try to incorporate something about the children into each portrait. That can mean books, sports, dance, musical instruments or anything a person has an interest in. In this case he hadn't yet developed any interests, other than pirates.


Now my client didn't want me to go to too much trouble. We agreed it wouldn't be easy to make anything pirate themed look as though it fit my style and level of quality. A shop bought costume wasn't going to cut it. But I just had to try. I love dark wood in my portraits and I …