Specialist Techniques and Process 3 – Test shoot 6


The aim of this shoot is to test location lighting techniques in order to discover the style of lighting I want to photograph my project with. I will be examining the lighting style of fashion photographer Terry Richardson.

Using two speed lights I am going to experiment with different lighting ratios. Using the main light and fill light I will test the power of the flash to see which affect I prefer. I will also experiment with direct light, diffused light and a snoot.

I am hoping that this test will allow me to determine that direct harsh light is one direction I want to go down.
(Terry Richardson inspiration – Full on flash direct at subject)


Cannon 650D DSLR
50mm (F1.8) lens
2 speed lights
Light stand


  1. 1 speed light as close to 50mm lens as possible as this allows shadow to wrap around subject closely giving the direct harsh flash look. I will also test at different ratios to evaluate overall effect
  2.  adding 2nd speed light as fill in light at different ratios to evaluate overall effect
  3.  adding in diffusers, snoot and reflectors to evaluate overall effect


(Inspired/researched by http://www.slrlounge.com/shoot-like-the-pros-with-basic-gear-terry-richardson/)

I managed to meet the aims of this shoot.

I photographed using direct front facing flash and added in a fill light and different elements. Over all i am happy with the results. Some of the images are not as sharp and focused as i would of liked however this is due to the models moving and me practising focusing with the unfamiliar Cannon Kit. However i now feel more confident focusing with the Cannon kit –  using a tripod helped with this process.

The below images are the preferred style i would like to continue to use throughout my project. The harsh front facing flash is strong and vibrant and makes the image bright and eye catching. I also prefer the harsher shadow than the softer shadows which we can see in later tests. However photographing the subject at an angle can be difficult as this lighting technique works better when the subject is pressed against the background. The harsh shadows can draw unwanted attention within the images.


Below are the images where i used front facing flash and a fill in flash. I metered the lights correctly so that the fill in flash was at a different ratio to the main light. I then added in a diffuser, a reflector and a home made snoot. Looking over the 4 different experiments with the fill in light i prefer the images which have the diffuser and reflector present as the subjects skin isn’t lit so harshly, but the front facing flash is still harsh enough to consider it a reflection of T.Richardson style. Unfortunately throughout these images my subjects weren’t always pressed up against the wall which means that within the images there are two soft shadows present due to the angles of the light in order to correct this i need to be more firm as a photographer and check every element with the subject as well as the equipment.



Once i had completed all the lighting tests i decided to take some portrait shots of the subject with a set lighting ratio. Using Front facing flash, fill in flash and a white reflector i began photographing the subjects and adding in a prop (cat) to add a fashion twist. However once again the subjects weren’t pressed against the wall so there are soft shadows around  their entire figure. Once i noticed this mistake i positioned the models against the wall and photographed them again.






Overall i am happy with the results of this shoot. I want to continue using the harsh front facing flash lighting technique within my project. I just need to focus more on the position of my subject matter. I will be testing this lighting technique again with an idea of my subject matter in relation to my project.


Published by

Olivia Bates

My aim is to delve in to the alliance between fashion and people so I can explore the link between the subjects in order to communicate my image I have the ability to approach any difficult situation and solve any problems to find resolutions in order to work efficiently. I can manage situations, communicate honestly and have a trustworthy manner as I am expressive and take no nonsense which allows me to get the job done. Please contact me at; livbates93@gmail.com and visit my website; www.oliviabatesphotography.foliohd.com

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