Studio Shooter? Favourite Modifier?


Love to see some work from any studio shooters out there. I typically shoot film in studio but bought the XT1 a while ago to capture some BTS images. I often lean toward hard contrasty lights and this is my favourite simple setup/modifier so far - a single light shot through an Xlite 75cm x 150cm softbox with grid.

What are other people’s favourite set ups or modifiers?


Wow! Big spacey studio!
Even the BTS shot is beautiful! :star_struck:

I’m starting to consider learning how to use flash. Would keep an eye for your posts on this topic.


I used to mount a Deep L softbox almost above the subject - quite close to have a soft and wrapping light - and then placing cutters and floppies to shape the light, like so:

For what I have in mind nowadays I’d most often go for HMI or Tungsten fresnels and maybe use frames with china silks to model the light… I have come to really appreciate continuous lighting in all its qualities and faults. It takes a bit more planning as spur of the moment ideas won’t always work but the quality of light is still hard to beat.


can’t go wrong with and umbrella!

Thoug, right now, I’m really enjoying using my wall as a modifier as it turns, basically, the entire wall itself into a massive softbox


perhaps some photos of the setup to go with the description?


It’s a hired space, nothing beats a big white cyc (minamalist at heart!)
Flash is fantastic. It’s easier than you think and allows you to work in any situation on light with greater control. You’d be amazing what you can do with just one light. Hope you get a chance to try soon.


Love an overhead light. This is BEAUTIFUL!
I’ve shot with constants only the once. I found the lack of power (shooting at ISO 400 film) was hard to work with and where one light would have worked I needed three… not wrong with more planning required. This is a BTS of my sole constant light experience. Was a hired studio and lighting typically used by videographers. Too much ‘stuff’ for my liking, perhaps though it was the lighting make/model didn’t suit the job? What do you use?


for beginner in learning flash, how many and which flash are recommended?
will be learning to use umbrella and soft boxes for product and portrait photography.

doubt will venture beyond flash units though.

currently have tt350, still unused. have a sigma ef500 from years ago but couldn’t find it after moving, somewhere here in the house, but sort of give up now.

would two or three flashes the optimal setup?
i’m thinking, most likely need the x1 for on camera trigger, off camera flashes.

should i mix and match with tt600 and tt685 for the additional flashes for three flash setup and a little cost saving? or two 685?
should i just sell the 350 and get 600 or 685 in its place instead?


Dont take that image above as an example of what to do - that was insane and not what I recommend :slight_smile:
Until a few months ago I shot mostly with the cheap Yongnuo speedlights (x2). They are brilliant. I’m not the person to ask for product photography unfortunately, I’m used to working and lighting up people which is possibly much bigger than you need. But… make use of the couple of speedlights you have! I started with an umbrella (if you get a shoot through with a cover you’ll essentially have shoot through and bounce options) and a reflector (or big sheet of white card or similar) to bounce and a piece of sheer fabric for a DIY scrim/diffuser. Keep it simple. Best advise I can give you is just start and play. Dont get hung up on make/model etc. Light is light :slight_smile:


Amazing book is Onelight Field Guide by DEDPXL / Zack Arias.


Thanks Carly!
I’m interested in portrait/people too.
Currently only have one flash unit since I couldn’t find the other one. And not sure whether 36GN is powerful enough for umbrella bounce/shoot through?
Still need to go out and get the umbrella + light stand + bracket in order to start playing.
If 36GN is not adequate, I might as well sell it as new unused and get me the Yongnuo/Godox with 60GN.


Thank you very much!

You do indeed need a lot of power and space to achieve the same amount of light a strobe puts out with continuous lighting but you just cannot replicate the look of a single arc light source as well as the flow of shooting with continuous lighting.

In that picture you have quite a collection of different light sources; they are all really quite small so I can definitely imagine you not having enough light with ISO 400 film. They might also have had different white balances which would not have worked in your favour if you were aiming to have a consistent light balance.

Since I tend to modify them with frame silks or daylight softboxes quite often I do not really care all that much whether they are PAR or fresnel. For durability I have come to using Arri M18 and M40, but Jokerbug and Mole-Richardson are also established names.

I really like using daylight balanced primaries and bringing in tungsten fresnels accents to warm up the frame… but then you can also probably just do that with gels. So many ways to slice a cake I guess. :slight_smile:

Keep in mind that I used to work as a lighting technician on sets where 3 or 4 5000 W lamps were used rather often so my idea of what makes sense on set is very different from someone setting everything up on their own and don’t have 1/2 day or a full day of studio time to pre-light a set!!

PS. I have started to work on ways to achieve those effects in less time and with less man hours, hopefully will be able to show something for it soon with my own work!


Thanks You are on the money; small lights, different WB. Like I said, it was a hire studio who mostly serviced video and product photography. Really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, some of it looks like a completely different language, but I probably miss judged continuous lights on a bad experience … will have to seek out an opportunity to try again. Can you share some more of your work with these set ups?


The majority of what I’ve done in the last year or so was what is called “non portfolio building” (i.e. you don’t own the rights to the images) so I cannot show any of that stuff.

Am working on my own stuff now though, so hopefully soon!


I use to be a One-light guy. Here a picture with my fav lens kit (helios 44-2 + 2x TC w/focal reducer) and my favourite modifier - a 90cm octabox.


lovely! what aperture was that taken at?


Superb shot Lino! I got an Helios 44-2 as well, but not the 2x TC. Can you show us how it looks on the camera? Do you use a speedbooster or just a regular m42 to X-mount adapter?


F2. As they are analog gear, i think that the aperture remains still.
So… 58mm x2 (telecoverter)= 116mm
116mm x 0.726 (focal reducer)= 84mm
84mm x 1.5 (crop factor) =126mm eq. 35mm FF format

I love maths when talking about photography! Hahaha


Here how it looks with the Fujinon 55mm f2.2, @zellersamuel
Later i will show you how it looks with the Helios and with my new Super Takumar 135mm f2.5 wich arrived today! :raised_hands:


Breaking the “1-light guy rule”. This shot is some of those that the second light is extremely important to use as a rim light. Not diffused at all i used my second flash on 75º from the octabox (main light)
Settings are 1/2000, f2.0 ISO200.
This picture is from a portrait series that im shooting around the nine islands of the Azores with my trusty and sexy X100S.