A lot of work can go into taking a good portrait, but it doesn't always have to. You don't need to spend hours getting the perfect lighting setup. As DIY Photography points out, one light can work just fine.
While the type of light varies, a softbox (certainly not the most expensive light you can get) turned out to be the most common single light setup. For $US50 and up, you can create some truly stunning studio-quality portraits pretty much anywhere — so long as you use the light effectively. DIY Photography has some tips:
- When you are shooting single light set ups, you need to remember to keep things simple.
- You can create some great shadows.
- Watch out for hotspots from the lights
- Try and mix your added light to the ambient light
- Using large modifiers can help spread light
- Try and keep your lights above the eyeline of your subjects
- Either shoot with your light very flat onto your subject or past a 45 degrees angle
- Work with the distances. Subject to light source — for the hardness of the shadows & light
- Experiment with by shooting 45 dgress to the light source
- Move your subjects, not your lights to fine tune the lighting.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by everything you think you need to do to create a great image, but often you don't have to do as much work as you think. Take the light you've got and play with it to get what you want. Often times you can turn your limitations into something amazing.
To see more examples of awesome single light portraits and how they were taking, check out the full post over at DIY Photography.
The Wonderful World of Single Light Set-Ups [DIY Photography]