This is my selection of shots from the various setups during the day.

With Johnny and Nathan visiting with a heap of Fujifilm X-series demo kit it would probably have been a bit mean of me to shoot with my Canon gear, so these were all shot with Fiona’s XT-1 and a couple of borrowed lenses (the 56mm f/1.2 and the new 50-140mm f/2.8).

We opened with a simple setup – just a single studio monolight with a gridded softbox left of camera. The light is very directional, so the poses/ angles are relatively restricted and it does work best when the face is turned towards the light. To add a bit more flexibility, add a reflector or white v-flat panel opposite the light. f/8 at 50mm using the XF50-140mm zoom.

studio lighting demo - single softbox, XT-1 XF50-140mm

[Lighting diagram]

The second setup is very similar – again using directional light, but this time with daylight from the French doors in the studio. This is pretty much broad lighting which won’t suit subject, but it still works well for Hayley. XF56mm at f/1.2.

window light, XT-1 XF56mm

[Lighting diagram]

The third setup is classic studio beauty lighting with a clamshell setup. For this setup we were using a 48″ octa overhead on the boom arm and 40″ square softbox on the floor. We normally shoot with the fill light on the floor about 1 stop less than the key light. XF56mm at f/6.4 (probably metered at f/8 and then accidentally bumped to f/6.4 when talking).

studio lighting demo - clamshell lighting, with white v-flat panels, XT-1 XF56mm

[Lighting diagram]

Without changing the lights, the look can be changed by simply swapping the white v-flat panels to black. The black panels tend to deepen shadows and add more depth and shape to features. XF56mm at f/8.

clamshell lighting, with black v-flat panels, XT-1 XF56mm

[Lighting diagram]

Another studio setup – this time with two strip boxes – so similar, but the antithesis of “copy lighting”. The lights are positioned relatively close together, slightly higher than the height of the model and angled downward. XF56mm at f/6.4 (maybe by this point I was too lazy to bump up the light power to f/8).

studio lighting demo - twin striplights, XT-1 XF56mm

[Lighting digram]

Our second-last setup of the day was back to using daylight from the French doors. Contrast was manipulated with either white or black v-flats. XF56mm at f/1.4.

portrait lighting demo - window light, XT-1 XF56mm

[Lighting diagram]

Our final lighting setup wasn’t one we’d tried before, but used properly it’s very interesting. This is the 48″ octa just overhead on the boom – the front surface of the octa is parallel to the floor and Hayley is positioned just behind the light. f/4 at 77mm using the XF50-140mm.

studio lighting demo - single octabox overhead, XT-1 XF50-140mm

[Lighting diagram]

We had a lot of fun – we hope you did too.