Today was a Desi shoot: a shoot with an Indian subcontinent theme. Henna artist Sadaf Ahmed and make-up artists Aisha and Falak got together with me and six models to shoot what they’re all capable of.

Here’s a sample:

What is special about this sample is that it is straight out of the camera. No skin smoothing, no adjustments of any kind except the removal of one tiny temporary blemish, which will be gone by tomorrow anyhow.

And we achieved this by having a great model, Kim G, and a great set of make-up and henna artists, and great light.

That light looked as follows:

Backdrop with a grey paper roll. A camera on manual, at 420 ISO, f/8, 1/125th second, with a 70-200 f/2.8L lens. Fitted with a Pocketwizard transmitter. And lights as follows:

  • Strobe: Main light, softbox on our left
  • Strobe: Fill, umbrella on our right
  • Speedlight: Background light on the left behind, aimed at background
  • Speedlight:Hair light with snoot on our right behind, aimed forward at subject
  • Speedlight: on boom, with small Honl photo Traveler Eight 8″ softbox. This gives the face more brightness.

All lights fired via Pocketwizard radio transceivers (the simple ones, that need manual flash operation). Connected to speedlights via Flashzebra cables.

This gives me pictures I can use straight away with no further modifications. Good, eh?


Want to learn? Hands-on course in Oakville this Saturday, “Learning TTL Flash”. 10AM, contact me ( to hear more and to book, now.



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