technical lighting

Lighting Experiment with Caitlin (NSFW)

I wanted to practice some edge light bodyscapes and portraits. I brought a model to the studio to practice with, Caitlin. Caitlin is a life drawing model so she’s used to holding dynamic poses while I moved and modified the lights. She was fantastic to work with and came armed with a series of her own poses. The goal was to create some dramatic, black and white, nude images. I mostly use 1 or 2 unmodified speedlights for the shoot. I want to get a couple of modifiers and retry again with more practical knowledge.

Lit with a single speed light.

Female bodyscape

2 side light dramatic picture

Lighting the back and the leg.

In profile


- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

- The Athletic Implied Nudes series is an exploration of the human body under muscle stress— understanding the body’s strength, flexibility, and power. Clean backgrounds, hard lighting, and black & white photography work together to eliminate distractions and highlight the muscle groups and figure of my subjects.

Beginning with Mixed Martial Artists and Boxers, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly firing muscle groups at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to freeze my subjects at the peak of their motion. Discovering a better understanding of the human form with this project has transitioned into my commercial fitness work, maximizing composition and positioning to best showcase the human form.

Teaser Image from Shoot with Jaclyn

I wanted to try a different lighting scheme and camera perspective than I normally use. Jaclyn was kind enough to help me out with it even though the space and setup were restrictive to her movements.

I mounted the camera on a boom and shot straight down. For lighting I used two very large softboxes, gelled with red, horizontally oriented, cross lighting the model at camera left head and camera foot. Many thanks to Sean for helping me with the setup, including the heavy lifting.

This is the first image I edited out of the session.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, boxing and mma photography

Long Exposure Dance Shoot with Deanna

I'd like to start off with saying thank you to Sean Allott, over the past couple of years he has taught me so much about photographic lighting. (Amongst other things) His continued support and guidance has made me a better photographer. One of the first things he taught me was "model safety is very important, model comfort is not, just get the shot" The other night he showed me mixed continuous and strobe lighting to show motion trails on a moving subject. It was a very cool lighting experiment for me. It's important to experiment and grow your skill set.

The model for this photo shoot was Deanna. We played around with some dance moves and other poses. She was super patient as I was learning a new lighting setup while using a camera I had never shot with before. I think we got some really cool looking shots and next time I will definitely be better and more creative with the process.

Makeup for the shoot was courtesy of Melissa O Makeup

I played around with mixed continuous light and strobes for different visual effects as well as multiple strobes fires within the same exposure.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, boxing and mma photography

Teaser Image from Shoot with Scarlett Edwards

I had a great shoot last night with Scarlett Edwards, a talented model. I was trying out some single light techniques to improve my lighting skills. For the image below I used a single strobe on a boom directly over the model. The light had a gridded reflector and barndoors to shape the light. We tried a lot of different poses. The idea was to illuminate the shoulders and upper buttocks while keeping the back in shadow. Initially all of the images were to be shot in black and white, but when I saw how her red hair popped off the black background, I had to go with colour.

I'll eventually post more from the set, but they will not be SFW or Facebook friendly.

F11 / 1/200th / ISO 100 - gridded reflector right above the model.