1,2 and 3 light set ups

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Photography, Portrait, Sport

I’ve recently been experimenting with lighting set-ups. I’m also preparing to move house so beds have been dismantled and I suddenly find myself with a bit of space, white walls and a bit of room to manoeuvre.  A Studio!!  I don’t have a lot of fancy lighting gear but I do have plenty of speedlites and a very handy book called the Speedliter’s Handbook by Syl Arena (it’s very easy to digest and is packed with information about techniques, equipment and ideas).

I had in mind a gritty, sporty photo in a gym somewhere.  But without a gym and a willing subject, I persuaded my long-suffering other half to pose for me.  My first attempts at a three light set up were a bit disappointing.  They were dark and moody (see the black and white shots) but there was something I didn’t like about them and I couldn’t put my finger on it.  A photographer friend of mine provided some constructive criticism and helped me realise my mistake.  Uplighting.   Whilst uplighting on the face can, in some instances work…for horror or thriller scenes…it doesn’t really flatter a subject – it casts heavy shadows and accentuates the dark circles under the eyes.   So I went back to the drawing board and repositioned my lights, then finished off the image in photoshop following some great advice from Clay Cook’s videos (he’s a bit of an idol of mine).   An all together better result I feel.   Kit:  Canon 5D MK III with a Canon 24-70 f2.8 lens @  ISO 100, f9.0, 65mm, 1/200 sec.


And these were the images I took first.

speedlite set up_6_160612


oh…and for comparison, on the same day I took a few of myself with a slightly different three light set up. Not quite so moody!



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