Sunday, 27 March 2016

Simple Lighting (Part 1)

Self-portrait to show how simple lighting can be.

Lighting for a portrait really does not need to be difficult, and this image shows just how simple off-camera flash can be... just one light. Here's the lighting diagram for it...

Lighting diagram showing position of flash head.

The Lighting

As you can see, I'm using a silver umbrella to create the portrait but the one thing I made sure not to do was to point the umbrella directly at the subject (me!). The umbrella is pointing towards the wall behind me, so that I have some softer light wrapping around my face.

The umbrella was positioned very close to me, and the camera was set up to shoot under the edges of it; having the umbrella this close gives me a large light source and that means soft light. I've also put the flash head right up the stem of the umbrella to minimise any loss of light from around the edges of it.

In this image, I'm just sat on the floor, leaning up against a very pale blue wall and because there is little difference in distance between the light and me, and the light and the wall, it keeps the background relatively bright too. If I had moved myself and the light away from the wall, then I would be lit the same but the background wall would get progressively darker.

The Equipment

The flash head for this shot was a Profoto AcuteB 600w/s fitted with a silver umbrella - you could achieve exactly the same thing using a normal external camera flash positioned just off camera and fired into an umbrella.

The camera was a Hasselblad H3D-II fitted with the standard 80mm lens; exposure 1/350th at f5.6.

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