Brooke WestonBW LogoPeter KirkbrideCoomb Road, Great Oakley, Corby, Northamptonshire NN18 8LA t 01536 396366 f 01536 396867

Brooke Weston

Sign In

Art Department


Use of studio equipment

This tutorial goes through the procedure when using the Bowens flash studio lighting kit, from setting up the lighting equipment to taking a picture.

It is divided up into the following sections:

  • Lighting
  • The camera
  • Exposure
  • Taking a picture
Picture of a photography light
Bowens Elite Flash

1. Lighting

You will need: extension cable, two Bowens Gemini spotlights/flash units with stands; electric cables; umbrella/reflector and softbox (diffuser).

Position the two flash lights so that the infra red sensors on the right upper surface of each lamp are able to detect information & synchronise each flash light.

Plug extension cable into mains, do not switch on.

Plug mains electric cables into the rear of each spotlight and then into the extension cable.

Switch on at mains.

Rear Control Panel
Figure 1: Rear Control Panel

Switch on each spotlight by pressing the on/off switch to the UPPER I position.

Ensure that the lamp, beep and photocell switches are in the 'on' position.

There are two dials on each of the spotlights:

  1. power
  2. lamp

The power dial controls the intensity & duration of the flash light.

The lamp is the tungsten modelling lamp which allows you to preview the quality & direction of the flash lighting.

When the spotlight is switched on, the unit will charge and indicate it is ready for use by

Side Control Panel
Figure 2: Side Control Panel
  1. beeping
  2. illuminating the green READY light.

Press the test button to check the unit fires.

You are now ready to adjust the lighting to get the effect you want. Experiment with them - alter the position and height to investigate the effects on the subject

N.B. Avoid raising the flash stands to their maximum height! (They are less stable at maximum height).

Always increase the flash stand height from the extension tubes closest to the floor.

Before switching off each flash unit, dump the charge by pressing the 'TEST' button.

Do not move the flash units while hot. Allow 15 minutes to cool down before moving them.

2. Camera

You will need: camera, film, tripod, hot shoe.

Load film; check that the correct ASA has been set on the camera.

Set the camera mode to 'M' or 'manual'.

Check that the correct shutter speed on the camera has been set to the 'Flash synch speed'.

For Canon 3000V (film) flash synch speed is 1/60th - 1/90th second.

For Canon EOS 350D (digital) flash synch speed is 1/200th second.

Attach camera to the tripod securely.

Attach hot shoe to the camera.

You are now ready to position the camera in front of the subject.

3. Exposure

Attach synch lead to Sekonic exposure meter at one end and one of the flash spotlights at the other end.

Set ASA on exposure meter to correspond to film speed.

Ensure that the mode on the exposure meter is set to ยค.

Make sure exposure meter is set with plastic bubble (invercone) covering the light sensor in the meter.

Hold exposure meter in front of the subject pointing at the camera and press the upper side button on the exposure meter to take an incident light reading.

The incident light reading will give you exposure information on shutter speed & f number. These can be increased/decreased by pressing the up or down arrows on the side of the meter.

Use the up/down arrow buttons on the exposure meter to change the shutter speed value to the chosen flash synch speed. The corresponding aperture (f number ) value is given.

Set the aperture on the camera to the aperture reading from the exposure meter.

4. Taking the picture

Set the shutter speed on the flash setting (usually 1/60th second) indicated by 'x'.

Set aperture to correspond to the correct exposure meter reading.

Transfer synch lead from exposure meter to the hot shoe on the camera.

You are now ready to take a picture. Be aware of the whole frame inside the view finder.

Make sure you fill the frame with the subject.

Experiment by moving the camera around - closer, further away; different angles; different heights.

Never turn off the flash spotlights without 'dumping' the flash charge first. This can be done by pressing the green button on the side of each flash light.

Copyright © 2007 - 2018, Brooke Weston Academy. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2007 - 2018, Brooke Weston Academy. All rights reserved.
Company No. 2400784.
Brooke Weston Academy
Coomb Road, Great Oakley, Corby, Northants. NN18 8LA
t 01536 396366 / f 01536 396867 / e enquiries