Less is more - shooting with one light

June 07, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Less is always more. Shooting with just one light is the way to go when I shoot models. I often do not add another light unless or until it's absolutely unavoidable and necessary. There is one sun and look at how wonderfully it's bathed the whole world in its magical light. It's that single light source that adds to the character of your subject and gives it the required definition. 

Not that I cannot handle multiple lights. For many commercial assignments, there are numerous lights with different modifiers around just to sometimes illuminate a very small setup. But all this lighting setup is not without a reason. There is a role being played by every piece of the light source added to create the overall ambience and the required light effect to achieve a particular mood in a photograph.

But most of the time, it's that single light source that is good enough for me, especially for the kind of photographs I shoot. I love to keep my photographs as natural as possible with the minimum amount of retouching for my personal work. 

A Single main light source can be modified in such a way that it either illuminates only one side of the face or the body or if it large enough it envelopes and wraps around the subject adding a sort of fill light on the other side of the main illumination.

 

A spotlight, placed close to the camera angle was used to illuminate the Model wearing a diamond pendant. 

It's perfectly fine to have shadows on the wall right behind the subject. As an amateur when you are taking the first steps in photography, you are usually guided to avoid the shadows on the wall behind the subject when illuminated with a flash fixed on the camera itself. 

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As these photographs are for men's jewellery, it's important to highlight that and let the subject be more in shadows.


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Shot towards the late evening the natural light was almost non existant. Notice how the slight chnage in the position of the light and the camera angle has changed the appearance of the subject. Almost short or kind of backlighting to side lighting.


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A series of images shot in the same area with a single hard light can reveal interesting patterns and characteristics of the surrounding. 


Makeup and Hair- Roberta by Dilshad Ahmed and Yana bypoonam Rawat

It's a single Beauty dish creating the highlight on the background as well as revealing the texture on the white lingerie worn by the model.


Existing lamps around the makeup mirror can be a good illumination for a subject when shot with an opened aperture. 



Fashion Photography by Munish Khanna, new delhi, india

One light is the way to go when shooting creative Nudes. It greatly helps reveal shape and texture at the same time retaining the artistic feel of the image, even when it is in coloured and not black and white. A single light allows more control to selectively illuminate just the right areas.



A series of photographs were shot with an off-camera flash controlled by a trigger on the camera. This lets you control the light the way you wish to let the face and body be illuminated in the best possible manner.


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