Mastering Mixed Lighting and the Helios 77m-4 Lens

Mastering Mixed Lighting and the Helios 77m-4 Lens


Bernadeta Kupiec

Mastering Mixed Lighting

This week’s Farmers Image of the Week, captured by Bernadeta Kupiec, demonstrates an exquisite ability for mastering mixed lighting in a wedding image – a challenging yet crucial skill for any photographer wanting to elevate their work. Here, Bernadeta skilfully blends natural light from a window with artificial lamplight, creating a balanced, soft illumination that enhances the romantic, and ethereal mood of the portrait.

Mixing different light sources is technically challenging because each light type has its own colour temperature and intensity. Natural light tends to be cooler and can vary dramatically depending on the time of day and weather conditions, while artificial light, such as lamplight, often casts a warmer glow. Balancing these to achieve a harmonious look without one overpowering the other requires a deep understanding of light manipulation and camera settings.

Bernadeta has navigated these challenges with finesse. By adjusting the intensity and positioning of the lamplight to complement the softer, diffuse daylight, she achieves an evenly lit scene that allows the model’s delicate pose and the texture of the dress to be the focal points. This careful balance ensures no harsh shadows or overly bright highlights distract from the overall softness and aesthetic of the image. Furthermore, her edit adds a soft painterly quality to the image.

Let’s discuss the choice of lens for this portrait. The Helios 77m-4 is renowned for its unique rendering of out-of-focus areas and its distinctive bokeh, which adds a dreamlike quality that is perfectly suited to the soft, ethereal mood of the image even at F11. This Russian, Multi-Coated lens, a classic in the world of vintage lenses, is particularly favoured for its ability to capture sharp subjects with beautifully blurred backgrounds, a feature that Bernadeta has utilised to great effect here, softening the dress and the background.

This photograph is also a perfect example of how Bernadeta uses her portfolio work to dictate the type of client work she aims to attract. By consistently showcasing her ability to create such balanced and beautifully lit images, she signals to potential clients her proficiency not just in photography but in creating a specific mood and style. This becomes a powerful marketing tool, aligning her portfolio with the aspirations of clients who are drawn to her distinct photographic voice.

Such images do more than just capture a scene; they speak to Bernadeta’s brand and aesthetic, highlighting her as a photographer who not only understands the technical aspects of her craft but also excels in expressing softness and emotion through her work. This capability undoubtedly helps her stand out in the competitive Scottish market, attracting clients who appreciate the nuances of her unique style.

a model dressed in a pink tulle dress sits on a fancy armchair twisted towards the viewer for an article on mastering mixed lighting


CAMERA: Canon R6 Mark II | MC Helios | 77m-4

SETTINGS: ISO 1000 | 1/40 sec | f11

PRESET: Own preset

WHAT Bernadeta SAID

“The model was well-lit by the natural light coming from the window..”

“The photo was taken during a stylised photoshoot that I organised at Rosebery Estate in March this year.

I chose a room that perfectly matched the colours of the mood board that I had prepared for this session – brown and dark purple accessories. I moved the armchair slightly so that the model was well-lit by the natural light coming from the window.”


Mastering Mixed Lighting and the Helios 77m-4 Lens

For lighting, I used natural light from the window on the left and light from the lamp on the fireplace on the right. I asked the model to sit on the armchair and start playing with her hands.

For the photo, I used a manual lens that I bought two years ago and was gathering dust in a drawer.



So you want to start a wedding photography business? Before you start buying cameras and lenses, there’s a few things you should know when it comes to creating the perfect Wedding Photography Business.



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