Early photography and movie lights often used fresnel lenses as a way to control the light spread. Generally the light sources can be moved closer or further away to the fresnel lens to alter the spread and nature of the light.

Bowens and Elinchrom have both made fresnel modifiers to allow strobes rather than continuous light sources to be used to the same effect. The Elinchrom units, particularly the older ones, have a good size lens too.

A while ago I picked up this well used unit and although I have some of the Swiss strobes, they don’t have the range of control that my Bowens gear has. Eventually I’ve bought an adapter and this was test-day. Well I’d run some shots a while ago at home, but we took it into the studio and used other lights too.

So, the test shots of Karin were using ‘hard’ lights in the form of the big fresnel and a couple of 65⁰ reflectors with grids. The background is the delightfully understated hand painted cloth from Oliphant of New York!

In truth, the fresnel can be many things, which is part of the appeal, but can create an engaging amount of structure that is still pleasing on the skin. These are all no retouch shots and are straight from Lightroom rather than Photoshopped images.

There is a definite look though.