I don’t know if regular visitors to the studio would notice the change but it is constantly developing.

This weekend a ridiculous amount of excitement was had as a result of the arrival of a small, inexpensive steamer (good-part alert) that will also make a cup of tea! As well as the paper backgrounds we have some fabric items but they do crease; do you know what, the steamer works and works well. Even better it’s called Bokeh, which is a term that refers to the aesthetic appeal of out of focus parts of an image.

Anyway, the backdrop was steamed on Saturday morning but in the afternoon we got down to the shoot-proper.

Karin brought in some business suits and one of my shirts (with a bulldog clip to make it fit her). The idea that I had was to shoot with single light-sources and to shoot wider than I normally do, basically 3/4 shots rather than the tighter headshots. We used the lovely Bowens Octo 90 and then a Bowens beauty dish. The Octo whilst not marketed as such is quite parabolic in form leading to a soft light with good fall-off and contrast. For one of the shots here (white shirt) we used it with the diffuser off, for such a simple reflector it really gives a great light.

The lighting from the left was the Octo whereas the Bowens beauty dish was used for comparison when lighting from the right. Finally we did a quick background cloth test this time using an old Bowens Wafer above Karin and for this shot she held a bit of white poly-board as a reflector, clamshell lighting if you like names for things. This was the only time a reflector had been used though for every shot here Karin had black drapes either side of her to reduce stray light and deepen the shadows (negative fill if you like labels).

So why did we spend the time doing this? It’s very easy to slip into ways of working, camera settings, light setups, even lighting from the same side every time. It’s great to have a bit of freedom to play, experiment and get comfortable with new ways of using the space. Also it’s great to test the nuances of the various light modifiers, they are all different it’s fantastic to have such a selection close at hand.

Ultimately it’s not about the tech, it’s about the shots though and they seem to be going down really well.