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5 One-Gentle Modifier Setups | Portrait Lighting in 10 Minutes

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On this video/article, you’ll get 5 one-light studio setups, and we’re going to do it in lower than 10 minutes. I’m utilizing a Profoto A10 for this setup, however you should use any flash. I’m additionally going to restrict our modifiers to only the fundamentals, so we’ll primarily use an umbrella. For all of our setups, I’ll provide you with different choices, no matter what I’m utilizing.

You could find our mannequin, Sammy, on Instagram (@boom_shenanigans).

Certainly one of my favourite setups is for Rembrandt lighting. For this setup, you’ll want to position the flash at an angle in order that the sunshine falls primarily on one facet of the face with only a bit of sunshine reaching the far facet of the topic’s face, often within the form of a triangle (see the picture above).

Right here’s a easy trick for this setup. Ask your topic to look straight into the digicam after which place the sunshine in a spot the place, from the sunshine’s place, you may solely see a small portion of the far facet of your topic’s face (see picture beneath).

From there, merely add the modifier onto your gentle supply. I’m simply utilizing a standard shoot through umbrella, which yow will discover on Adorama for round $10. For my digicam setup, I’m utilizing a Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 lens. I’ve set my publicity (1/200, f/4, ISO 100) in order that if I take a shot with none flash in anyway, my picture comes again utterly darkish. I’ve minimize away all of the ambient gentle, which means the one gentle you’re going to see within the picture is coming from the flash that I’ve added.

As a reminder, Rembrandt lighting is characterised by slightly triangle spotlight on the far facet of your topic’s face. You’ll be able to management the dimensions and placement of that triangle by simply merely adjusting the face place. If you need extra of the spotlight, flip the face slightly bit extra in direction of the sunshine supply; in order for you slightly bit much less of the spotlight, flip the face away from it.

The v-flat gives a big white floor for bouncing gentle again onto your topic.

Additionally, if you wish to fill within the shadows, you should use a v-flat (ours is from V-Flat World) to bounce gentle again onto your topic. These are implausible modifiers to have within the studio, however when you don’t have one, you should use a 5-in-1 reflector with the white facet dealing with the sunshine supply. In fact, you’ll want a stand for the reflector as properly.

[Related Reading: 5 Primary Light Patterns and Their Purpose]

This subsequent lighting setup is commonly known as Paramount as a result of Paramount Studios typically used this setup when photographing their actors and actresses. It’s additionally known as butterfly lighting due to the little butterfly form that it creates within the shadow slightly below the nostril.

To make use of this setup, place the flash instantly above your topic’s head at a downward angle. I’m utilizing the identical umbrella from the earlier setup. This setup is straightforward and it does a fantastic job of highlighting the hair, in addition to contouring the cheeks and the face. Simply keep in mind, chances are you’ll must (and possibly ought to) experiment with the peak of the sunshine supply to make sure that you’re getting fill gentle into the eyes. In case you’re not getting sufficient gentle into the eyes, simply decrease the sunshine a bit.

Seize your self a reflector and add it to the earlier setup to get clamshell lighting. Have your topic maintain the reflector round waist excessive, or they’ll set it on their lap if seated.

We began with the silver facet of the reflector dealing with upward and you’ll see that the sunshine bounced off of it and stuffed in all of the shadows whereas additionally including fairly a little bit of catchlight. You’ll be able to management this in one among two methods: First, convey the reflector up nearer to your topic’s face; the nearer it will get, the extra gentle goes to fill into the face (transfer it farther away for much less gentle). The opposite means we are able to management the sunshine utilizing this setup is by merely utilizing the white facet of the reflector.

When the zipper caught on the 5-in-1 and we couldn’t use the white floor, we resorted to utilizing a foam board.

In case you don’t have a reflector, seize a bounce card or something any white — a chunk of froth core, poster board, or no matter you have got. Deliver the reflector up near your topic, direct them right into a pose, and seize the shot.

With a sq. lighting setup, we’re basically filling gentle from all angles. Along with the umbrella and reflector, I’m going to make use of v-flats on each side of my topic. In case you don’t have v-flats, seize two reflectors and hold one on all sides with a main gentle on the prime and a 3rd reflector on the underside.

An precise, skilled sq. lighting setup can value 1000’s of {dollars}. It is a quite simple and efficient means of doing the identical factor with out all of the gear. The cool factor concerning the sq. setup is it does a extremely nice job of filling shadows for all the face. It creates a really flattering total look, nice for head pictures.

[Related Reading: Photography Lighting Equipment — The Best Light for Your Budget (2021 Update)]

For this setup, you’re going to seize a reflector and, brace your self, minimize a gap proper within the middle of it. In case you’re anxious concerning the value, these items value round $30. Hopefully, you may swing it.

Pointing to the flash simply over the middle of the backdrop

I’ve positioned a flash proper above my background (see the picture above), basically making a two gentle setup utilizing just one gentle. I angled the flash all the way down to skim proper over my topic’s head and bounce off of the reflector and onto my topic’s face. The ensuing gentle resembles a sq. gentle setup however with a hair gentle falling from behind the topic.

You’ll be able to handhold this setup your self whereas capturing the shot, however I’d suggest getting a reflector stand when you plan to make use of this setup typically. They’re fairly cheap and it’ll stop you from throwing out your arms when you’re taking pictures.

We hope you loved this text/video on 5 one-light setups for capturing portraits. In case you’d wish to dive deeper into lighting, try our Flash Photography Training System, which is a component or our full library of Premium workshops.

You’ll want to catch our subsequent episode of Mastering Your Craft on Adorama’s YouTube channel subsequent week! If you wish to compensate for all of the episodes, be sure to try our playlist!

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