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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.

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