Utilizing a Single Speedlight and Modifier to Obtain 5 Totally different Appears


When simply beginning out, It is simple to assume that we’d like extra gear, completely different gear, or only one extra modifier that can allow us to obtain our targets. I challenged myself to attempt to shoot 5 completely different seems in my humble residence studio with a single modifier and lightweight to point out just some concepts of what you are able to do with them.

The Gear

All 5 of those photographs have been carried out with the Fujifilm X-T3, the Cactus RF60x, a large Octabox (the most affordable I may discover), and the V6ii to set off the velocity gentle. For lenses, I modified round between three: the 56mm f/1.2, the 90mm f/2, and the 200mm f/2, which I’m engaged on a overview of. I solely used a reflector in one among these photographs, and that was purely on account of me being in a temper for plenty of distinction the day of the shoot. If I needed so as to add some fill, as a substitute of including a second gentle, I may have simply added a bounce card or reflector reverse the one gentle I did use to fill in some shadows.

One factor I do not need you to remove from this text is: “I simply want an octabox to take higher pictures.” You may get photographs virtually precisely like these with an umbrella or virtually every other type of softbox-type modifier. Now, let’s start.

Shot #1

I do not shoot a lot black and white, however for this primary shot, it simply felt proper to shoot with out colour. This setup might be the best setup for any type of lighting modifier. Place the sunshine excessive up, at 45 levels down towards your topic and 45 levels to the facet of your topic. I then had my mannequin, Tiana, flip her physique away from the sunshine and twist in the direction of it so as to add some form to her physique. I additionally had a grid on the sunshine to cut back spill and lightweight bouncing throughout the room, as I needed a complete lot of distinction, however this could possibly be achieved by capturing in a bigger area or just pointing the modifier extra away from the mannequin.

A light-weight setup like this, with or with out fill, offers you stunning Rembrandt-like gentle falling onto your topic and is a should in terms of attempting to grasp off-camera flash. It is simple to arrange and permits you to think about posing your mannequin and directing them, concentrating in your emotion reasonably than the lighting.

Shot #2

Okay, technically, this is not 5 seems with with one modifier, as this second setup makes use of no modifier. I needed some good, arduous gentle for this second shot, and to try this, I needed to rip off the Octabox and place the sunshine as far digicam left and behind me as my studio would enable me to get a pleasant, sharp, outlined shadow. I had the mannequin sit down for this shot and lean ahead onto her knees and mixed that with the arduous gentle to provide the shot some style edge. The chair was just a little ugly, so as a substitute of going wider and displaying it off, I went in tight to cover it.

Shot #three

I threw the octabox again on for shot quantity three and left it on for the remainder of the shoot. In case you’re questioning why I took the octabox off solely to place it again on, I used to be planning on altering modifiers after I had the concept for this text, so I stored with simply the octabox for the remainder of the shoot. Now, I’m a humongous fan of lighting on the far facet of my topics. It’s a low cost and straightforward method to make a shot immediately moody. For this shot, I positioned the sunshine behind my mannequin at roughly 45 levels, capturing down on her. The octabox additionally had a grid used to assist management the sunshine and scale back spill onto the background, which was only a white wall, just like the primary shot. In reality, this lighting setup is sort of equivalent to that one; I simply rotated the sunshine 30 or 40 levels across the mannequin, which simply goes to point out how such a small change can create a giant distinction.

As you’ll be able to see within the lighting diagram, the sunshine was set extra in entrance of her than behind her, and this was for 3 key causes: 

  1. Merely to make sure that the the sunshine was not within the shot behind her.
  2. To forestall spill on the white wall behind her making certain that I obtained the darkish grey there as nicely.
  3. By inserting many of the gentle in entrance of Tiana, I allowed extra of it to wrap round her — permitting us to see each eyes and never get a completely backlit shot. 

Shot #four

Talking of small modifications, this shot was carried out with simply the octabox positioned immediately behind my mannequin, firing straight into the lens once more, simply transferring the sunshine from off-center of the mannequin to immediately behind them. The octa had each layers of diffusion in it, so the sunshine superbly wrapped round her, not simply giving a harsh silhouette. To help this impact, I additionally had her stand immediately in entrance of the softbox, in order that the sunshine was as near her as attainable. I needed the white to be overexposed, so I used to be certain to blast the softbox with gentle so I did not have any hotspots; in actual fact, out of all the photos, this one had the least quantity of post-production work. If I had powered the speedlight down a bit, I’d have gotten a hotspot, which in some methods could possibly be a fascinating impact, however not for the place my mind was that day. 

Shot #5

For our last shot, I needed to mix a magnificence shot and a headshot — someplace proper within the center. To do that, I used a lightweight virtually immediately above Tiana, with a bounce beneath.

That is the one shot of the day the place I used a bounce; it is considerably arduous to see within the 2D lighting diagram right here, however I had my single gentle above, in entrance of, and barely to the suitable of my topic, angled in the direction of her. I did not need the sunshine to be immediately overhead, as then, the shadow beneath her nostril could be too harsh for me. I added a bounce beneath her, which was simply on her lap to fill within the shadows and soften the look. 


As you’ll be able to see, it is extremely easy to get an enormous number of lighting kinds and setups with only a single gentle and modifier. Whereas I used the Cactus RF60x, actually, any gentle would work right here. The precise gear does not matter a lot as the location and mixture of it with your individual ingenuity. 

Have you ever used any of those setups your self? I would like to see them within the feedback beneath!