CT – Studio Portraiture – Test Shots Single Portrait

Session 1: Side lighting and chiaroscuro
The studio test shots for individual portraits were over two separate sessions. In the first, Jason modelled for Louise and I. The spot lights were set with barn doors and instead of using normal ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/7.1, I stopped down 3 stops to expose for the highlights and experiment with halo and side lighting effects (Grey, 2004). Having used a 105mm in prior shots, I wanted the flexibility to frame more easily so used a 24 – 70mm f/2.8. We followed up with a spot light on slightly lower power with open barn doors for the first of my portrait shots:

CT Portrait TS 3a

CT Portrait TS 2



CT Portrait TS 1


Holly modelled in the same session in which we varied a studio light with a soft box and a reflector. I really liked the effect of shadows in the final result, a warm skin tone really came through in the final images (Perkins 2006), shot with aperture back at f/7.1:

CT Portrait TS 5

CT Portrait TS 4a


Session 2: Softbox and spot light
In a second session in the studio, Paula’s portrait shoot was underway. we looked at the effects of drapes and netting in the shoot. The power settings for the studio lights were much higher than in previous shoots and needed to top down one or two stops to expose correctly. Soft box and reflectors were in use in these shots:


CT Portrait TS 8

CT Portrait TS 7

CT Portrait TS 10

I was pleased with my first portrait test shots, exposing correctly for the images and adjusting lighting as needed.  I really wanted to shoot more side lit and highlight shots, but we ran out of time.
Criteria: 1, 2, 3, 4

Grey, C. ‘Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers’ (Amherst Media, 2004)
Montizambert, D ‘Creative lighting Techniques’ (Amherst Media, 2003)
Perkins, M. ‘Professional Portrait Lighting: Techniques and Images from Master Photographers’ (Amherst Media, 2006)
Tuck, K ‘Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography’ (Focal Press, 2009)

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