The One-Light Studio

Subject-to-light relationship

As you can see here from the model's shadow, the light in this image is
about 45 degrees off-axis, but she is directly facing the light. This again
gives us an overall 'flat' effect.

So far, we've looked at the effects of changing the position of the light. Yet the final look of any image is also influenced by the relationship of the subject to the light source. If we place the light source off-axis but have the model looking directly into the light (as shown above), the effect will be very similar to the on-axis light with forward-facing model image we saw earlier.

In a typical 'three quarter' lighting setup, the light source is postioned about 45 degrees off-axis.

Now look at what happens if we have the model positioned so that her body faces a light that is now 90 degrees off-axis from the camera lens. This commonly used effect - known as side lighting or split lighting - creates a more dramatic look. Notice how the definition of facial features and even the folds of the dress have changed; the side-lit image has much deeper and more pronounced shadows.

A basic example of side lighting, also referred to as split lighting.

Compare this side-lit image to the one at the top of this page. Although the pose and disposition of the model is  similar, the light has been moved directly to the model's side, 90 degrees off-axis.

In this shot of the side lighting setup you can see the light is positioned at a 90 degree axis to the camera lens with the model's body facing directly towards it.

Let's take a look at another example of side lighting. With the light illuminating the model from a nearly 90 degree angle, and her upper body turned at a 45 degree angle to the camera, the result is dramatic. There are distinct shadows defining the model's facial structure, arms and figure. Compare this image to the previous  examples; the contours are much more pronounced.

Here, the light is positioned to the side of the model, whose body is
rotated about halfway between the camera and the light source. This
produces a more stylized look with deep, defined shadows.

Using Contrast

We've seen how using a single light source can lead to a variety of relatively simple looks. But limiting yourself to a single light does not mean you cannot go for more sophisticated lighting effects. 

This image was lit using a similarly minimalistic single-light technique.

Contrast is a primary source of visual drama. It is created through the separation of dark and bright tones in an image. Consequently, it's easy to create dramatic images when using a small number of lights; in such a situation, things that are not expressly illuminated will likely be rather dark.

The image above was created with a single light source projecting an angled cone of light onto the background. This produces a strongly shadowed image with high contrast. I also used the contours of the light cone and the model's shadow on the background as compositional elements. The crispness of the image comes in part from the delineation of the model's silhouette against the brightly lit wall behind her. This would not be quite as pronounced or effective if her arm and body had been lit with a fill light.

Here is the light setup used to create the image above. A single light in a simple reflector projects a conical swatch of illumination on the background.

I hope that these examples inspire you to experiment on your own with a single light setup. Working in this way is one of the best methods I know to develop a clear understanding of what the equipment at your disposal can be used for, and what each lighting modifier brings to the mix.


Thomas Park is a fashion / fine art photographer and educator based in Seattle, Washington. To follow his work, please visit http://www.thomasparkphoto.com

Models and crew: Melissa Ann, hair and makeup by Calvy Tran.  Melissa wears a hat by Thomas Park (top) and a dress by Poleci. Jessica Arden, makeup by Calvy Tran, hair by Jessee Skittrall @ Absolut Hair (absoluthair.com).  Jessica is wearing Costume National.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 94
phameline
By phameline (Dec 28, 2012)

Good article, use the concepts and play with the light until you get the desired results. thanks.

0 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (Sep 8, 2012)

as others have mentioned, the setup of the lights in the article is good.. but it would be nice if the shots were taken in the same pose with just the light moved to different locations to show the difference.... much easier for the beginner to understand!

4 upvotes
jcuknz
By jcuknz (Aug 26, 2012)

A good article to show that you do not need a lighting set but first you need to learn what can be done with one light. The immediate missing factor I feel is the explanation of keeping the lighting ratio within the capability of the film or sensor and here I think the use of soft lighting hides a multitude of sins :-)
But perhaps styles have changed over the years and black holes are acceptable these days. Adding a simple reflector would probably satisfy my crit.

0 upvotes
acahaya
By acahaya (Jul 16, 2012)

good read and images that are perfectly suited to demonstrate the effect of one source of light coming from different angles.

Not sure what some of you expected here, this is not about beauty shots but it helps to understand how to position your strobe on order to achieve or avoid a certain depth created by shadows.

1 upvote
MarkJordan
By MarkJordan (Jun 26, 2012)

Though I am in agreement with the premise of seeing and creating with one light, I am not sure the images are the best examples of it. So sorry. Regardless, thanks for sharing and getting so many minds to contemplate the fundamentals. God knows we can all use it.

3 upvotes
Jack A. Zucker
By Jack A. Zucker (Jul 30, 2012)

How so? I thought the images perfectly conveyed what the author was writing about.

1 upvote
Jacques_t
By Jacques_t (Aug 23, 2012)

I think the examples are just fine, it's down to the reader to apply what they've read and to test the setups in their own way. It's not for us to slavishly copy the article...??

1 upvote
Gardavkra
By Gardavkra (Jun 7, 2012)

Great article. The author makes some very good and valid points. This doesn't just apply to photography but, to art in general. In my opinion, keeping it simple brings out more creativity. Also, this isn't an article for beginners only.

2 upvotes
FeliciaCorrine
By FeliciaCorrine (May 31, 2012)

Very useful post.......can see the depth in lighting using a single source and yes the contrast and brightness do come out.

0 upvotes
liveagain
By liveagain (May 26, 2012)

Great tips. Thanks for the article.

0 upvotes
gomezphotography
By gomezphotography (May 25, 2012)

Anyone should learn with one light for a while before they move to two or three lights. One light can be simple and beautiful but the shots above are not ver good in my opinion.

1 upvote
gomezphotography
By gomezphotography (May 25, 2012)

Yes ! renato they are just bad one light examples.

0 upvotes
renato
By renato (May 24, 2012)

All 3 examples above are terrible. The first one - the shadows are not controlled at all, and form a bad pattern (lots of bumps on her dark side). The second - just washed out, and flat, no lighting work presented. The third - the main light is positioned too above and too aside - resulting in a larger nose than could be.

Yes, you can use just one key light, but then you have to be able to master a shadow pattern. If you can't - then stick with a large reflector and fill the shadows, just a touch, so it is not looking like black holes.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 25, 2012)

Have you actually read the article?

7 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (May 26, 2012)

The problem is not the use of One light, the problem is in the way these pictures are taken. What is the use of demonstrating a technique, if the technique only results in poor photos.

1 upvote
villagranvicent
By villagranvicent (May 26, 2012)

In fact in the first one (the girl with the black fabric on her head) she looks deformed... very weird neck position, enhanced by those shadows.

1 upvote
tonganqn
By tonganqn (Jun 4, 2012)

Clearly some people didn't read/understand the article's point.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Shelly Glaser
By Shelly Glaser (May 24, 2012)

My favorite one-light setup is missing: put the light source behind the subject so that the camera is in the shade of the subject. Place a large white or metallic board near the camera 9preferably to one side) so it get illuminated by the lamp and reflects light towards the subject.

This set up does wonders with hair, and at the same time it is soft enough at the face so wrinkles etc. would not be too visible.

4 upvotes
Kwik-E-Mart
By Kwik-E-Mart (May 24, 2012)

Quick question: what about other lights in the room? Is this shot in total darkness except for the primary light? Do the lights in the room even matter? The models shadow dissappears in all of the shots showing the setup (to make everything clear). Is this a change or how the whole scene actually looks during the shoot? Or did someone turn on other lights to capture the setup.

0 upvotes
thomaspark
By thomaspark (May 25, 2012)

Working with flash is a different animal - the flash is so many orders of magnitude brighter than the ambient light that the light in the room almost doesn't make any difference at all. If you set your exposure for flash and took a picture with the flash turned off, your photo would be almost totally black.

The main reason to control the lighting in the room (for example, by using blackout curtains in my studio) is so that you can visualize what's going on with your lighting via the modeling lights.

1 upvote
Bonedr
By Bonedr (May 24, 2012)

If I were to use off camera flash, do I have to get a radio trigger? Or can I trigger it with my pop up flash?

0 upvotes
Norbert G Ginsel
By Norbert G Ginsel (May 24, 2012)

Maybe not. If you use Nikons, they make accessory SG-3IR, which snaps onto your camera and triggers light-activated off camera flash units (InfraRed, line of sight only, cheap). Also, a long PC cord works in some cases. If your flash has a PC connection, PC cord light triggers are available that can be taped to your light stand in any position. If not, light triggers are available to fit under the flash unit shoe. Wireless is your more expensive option.

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (May 24, 2012)

It depends on the specific camera and flash involved but not usually. The pop-up flash on most DSLRs can trigger and control other compatible flashes.

0 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (May 23, 2012)

Sorry to say, but these images are not impressive at all.

0 upvotes
snackwells
By snackwells (May 24, 2012)

...and you are missing the point of this article. It's not to show off impressive images. The images are there to distinctly illustrate the effects of on vs off axis lighting, single source.

13 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (May 26, 2012)

I did not read the article. A book is judged by its cover. Looking at the images, I am not impressed and I passed.

The title images should be examples of what could be achieved, not what should be avoided.

1 upvote
technotic
By technotic (May 26, 2012)

That is just silly.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (May 23, 2012)

Nice article........Thanks !! ...

0 upvotes
Imfor Umman
By Imfor Umman (May 23, 2012)

Fantastic article! This is is photography 101. Perfect!

0 upvotes
q8mc
By q8mc (May 23, 2012)

What's name this light

0 upvotes
SigmaChrome
By SigmaChrome (May 23, 2012)

If I was teaching studio lighting technique, this is exactly where I would start. Although, I probably would have included at least one black and white image to help illustrate the simple drama of using a single light source.

Good article.

1 upvote
anthonywho
By anthonywho (May 23, 2012)

THis is good. Get the single source right and then move on.
These articles are great, photography rather than cameras.

14 upvotes
Sailor Blue
By Sailor Blue (May 23, 2012)

Thank you for taking the time to put together this article. It is a good introduction to using a single light source to produce different lighting styles. I'll certainly be recommending that new photographers wanting to start doing portraiture read it.

Once you understand the light and shadow effects you can achieve with a single light source then you are well on your way to understanding all lighting. Only by understanding the light illuminates and shadows define can you master lighting. .

All lighting setups start with a single main or key light. Additional light sources are only used to modify that main or key light, i.e. to modify the light and shadows. Learning single lighting is the key to learning lighting in general.

Thanks again for a very nice article.

4 upvotes
thomaspark
By thomaspark (May 24, 2012)

Thanks for reading!

I definitely agree - I always start with the key light.

Regarding fill light, I sometimes find it useful to set the key light to establish the overall look then *turn it off* and build up the lighting set starting from the weakest light and progressing back up to the key light.

Obviously, this isn't usually necessary if you're using two or three lights, but it can be a very handy approach for complex lighting scenarios with multiple environmental lights, hair and accent lights, fill, etc. It can sometimes be a little easier to visualize the contribution of the small / minor lights without the key lights when you are working with a truck full of gear on a complex lighting stage.

1 upvote
Bob Tewksbury
By Bob Tewksbury (May 22, 2012)

I agree with Sufyan ........ these pics are very flat. I was expecting much more....... The opening shot is good.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Pavlo Boiko
By Pavlo Boiko (May 23, 2012)

Bob,
why do You think they are flat and what do You mean "flat"? Do You think it is because of light, camera or photographer?

0 upvotes
Sufyan
By Sufyan (May 22, 2012)

Sorry, the one-source light can be good, but the light here is not well done and it is over in many photos,

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (May 24, 2012)

We all would be glad to see your article with perfect lighting.

1 upvote
jquagga
By jquagga (May 22, 2012)

I found the article helpful. Now I need a beauty dish to play with!

0 upvotes
Larry Kohlruss
By Larry Kohlruss (May 22, 2012)

8in. reflectors for work lights work great. Not for body shots, but for Head shots, they work fine, I use 100 watt Daylight household coil bulbs.

1 upvote
pdcm
By pdcm (May 23, 2012)

Beauty dishes are over rated.. They are best for close up work, head and shoulders with the dish placed close up, which is what they were designed for. They are much less suitable for full body shots.You can get just as good results or better using a simple brolly (dirt cheap) or softbox. I suggest the article is not about the equipment, but about the lighting techniques demonstrated. Overall, a good introduction for the beginner; it demonstrates what can be achieved with a simple setup. Now adding a large reflector to this which could be a simple piece of white card would add a whole range of additional lghting.

1 upvote
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (May 22, 2012)

How disappointing. We normally associate this site with higher caliber work, even if the topic is single light source. These images are not interesting at all. I think having access to a studio, with a nice backdrop that you'd want to get more creative with your lighting. Budget has nothing to do with it, it's using your imagination, you are not shooting products for eBay. TERRIBLE.

6 upvotes
Larry Kohlruss
By Larry Kohlruss (May 22, 2012)

Did you know, that one of the very Best and Highest paid photographers in N.Y. ONLY uses pure white backgrounds and almost always shoots this Beauty Wash look as it's sometimes called. Just some FYI........ lol Great article...

12 upvotes
strata83
By strata83 (May 23, 2012)

I don't think the point of the article was to charm readers with beautiful imagery. Actually, the illustrations brilliantly show different lighting styles and patterns you can create with a single light source.

By the way, one of the best books about lighting ('Light: Science and Magic') also features many 'flat' and 'boring' illustrations that are perfectly adequate for their intended purpose.

12 upvotes
BBSaxman
By BBSaxman (May 23, 2012)

@Maverick, Ever heard the expression "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? Stupid troll

2 upvotes
pdcm
By pdcm (May 23, 2012)

I think you are outnumbered here Maverick. This mini tutorial does the intended job: it teaches the basics of using a single light. It is not comprehensive; it's not intended to be. The images are good enough to illustrate the points made.

And as strata83 mentions the examples in one of the best books on lighting ever written uses quite boring and flat images.

2 upvotes
Curzon
By Curzon (May 23, 2012)

This is a tutorial. Works perfectly for the intended purpose. Critics - lighten up. :)

6 upvotes
BPJosh
By BPJosh (May 22, 2012)

The light is way to bright for my tastes and don't come screaming high-key lighting either.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 22, 2012)

I was surprised to see no mention of using a disc reflector to help fill in some shadows, but I guess then it's technically not a "one-light" kit, as the fill card is acting as a second light at super low power.

I recently purchased two powerful hot-shoe flashes, triggers, and stands/umbrellas, and have actually trying to make nice images with one before I add the second flash. But I definitely miss my mono-lights and really want that beauty dish the author has. Thanks for the article.

2 upvotes
ptl-2010
By ptl-2010 (May 22, 2012)

I think this is a great way to start out, a single flash/strobe/ light and a single model against a simple background. I practiced like this when i first got my flash, just trying different positions, angles, and methods of diffusion and modification. Then I tried adding in my reflector as a fill. Then I practiced using the flash outdoors as a fill light, and now I'm looking into picking up a second flash to use in the "studio" as a hair light.

1 upvote
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (May 22, 2012)

Side lighting's fantastic - you could also bring in a white panel on the left to provide a bit of fill. One problem is that it's not very flattering unless the model has a lovely complexion or lashings of make-up (which is what they had in George Hurrell's day).

2 upvotes
gollywop
By gollywop (May 22, 2012)

It's true that these are one-light shots. But some of them are one light plus reflector and it clearly helps to have a bevy of lights on hand from which to choose the one light to be used. It's not like you've only really got one light.

1 upvote
thomaspark
By thomaspark (May 22, 2012)

Actually, I'm afraid you're mistaken. Take a look at the photo showing the lighting setup. Every photo in the article was shot with one single light - no fill and no reflectors.

All of the looks except for the very last one were shot with the same modifier as well, a simple beauty dish.

With careful metering and light placement, you can do quite a lot.

3 upvotes
gollywop
By gollywop (May 22, 2012)

> Actually, I'm afraid you're mistaken. Take a look at the photo showing the lighting setup. Every photo in the article was shot with one single light - no fill and no reflectors.

"We'll start with a single light plus beauty dish (a circular reflector)"

And the lamp in the last shot looks quite different from that in the first.

Plus, even if you used only one lamp w/o reflector (which does not appear to be the case), you clearly didn't start with a floor lamp from your living room. You had, no doubt, a wide choice to choose the one from that you actually ended up using. There is an implicit inconsistency in the simplicity of your title.

But nevertheless, I get your point. Once we go out and get the right set of lamps to choose from, we too can shoot with only one of them.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 22, 2012)

gollywop,
The author never stated he was using a bare bulb. The article is about using a single light source. A beauty dish attached to a light is still 'one light'. And we have to assume that as a professional, some thought went into the equipment he's chosen to use. I've added in additional setup shots for the side lighting and 3/4 shots so you can see for yourself what he used.

3 upvotes
jsandjs
By jsandjs (May 23, 2012)

One light is not one single beam light especially when something like a beauty dish is attached. As Larry mentioned, the dish size (and maybe its shape as well) plays a role here. A little on-camera flash just cannot match here.

1 upvote
JWest
By JWest (May 23, 2012)

@gollywop - I'm pretty sure the article wasn't entitled "The One Floor Lamp From Your Lounge Studio".

6 upvotes
David Hart
By David Hart (May 22, 2012)

I, personally, like shadows and depth to a photo. Of course, I pretty much always shoot with a single light, the sun, as the majority of my photographs are taken when I travel.

This studio lesson can also be applied to outdoor photography as you can liken the front lighting style to the sun being overhead and the angled lighting to early morning or late afternoon sunlight. Following this analogy a bit further, you can view clouds as a filter... (grin)

David

4 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 22, 2012)

It´s great that professional photographers teach amateurs how to shoot. Then amateurs start taking pictures cheaply or pro bono and pros lose their jobs.
Pros go to schools, four years photography there and then they buy expensive gear and use money to get clients. And then some of them teach amateurs in web which causes the profession to collapse, that has happened all over and photography is a dying profession.

5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 22, 2012)

Wow.

17 upvotes
sweetsonic
By sweetsonic (May 22, 2012)

I sense someone is bitter...

7 upvotes
Studiowest
By Studiowest (May 22, 2012)

If you think being a successful pro is about equipment and basic technique you are sorely mistaken. Two amateurs can have the same technique and equipment yet one can make wonderful images and the other be quite hopeless. One has an eye for design or expression and attitude. One has a feeling for light, the other doesn't see it. One understands composition dynamics the other... One is a photographer in demand, the other isn't.

15 upvotes
jeangenie
By jeangenie (May 22, 2012)

At the higher end of the market, most 'professional photographers' have been letting assistants and second shooters do the bulk of their work for decades. "Professional photography" is unaffected by any of this. Most of those assistants also went to school. As it has always been, the people that get paid top dollar got into that position because they knew sombody.

Local photographers are hit pretty hard though.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Mat Miller
By Mat Miller (May 22, 2012)

That happens in a lot of professions. especially Graphic Design. A photographer now has to sell a style or look. Target marketing is key. Also, education should be free for all. Money should not be any reason for anyone to learn. Let information be free.

7 upvotes
Paul_R_H
By Paul_R_H (May 22, 2012)

Huh? You think that the author of this piece, by showing us amateurs a little of his technique, is going to make us as good as he is? Absolutely not. He might make us better than we are, but we'll never be as good as he is.
Pros are as good as they are not because of their equipment or their basic techniques (we amateurs can acquire those things) but because they work at it all day every day, and they have creative talent and vision. A client who thinks he or she can get pro results from a well-equipped amateur is going to be disappointed.

2 upvotes
ragothba
By ragothba (May 22, 2012)

Not everything knowable can be articulated in propositional form and I am sure the author knows more than he can tell :)

1 upvote
Daryl Cheshire
By Daryl Cheshire (May 22, 2012)

I am not a pro but I have roughly the same gear as a wedding photographer but I photograph birds and railway objects and old buildings and I know that I don't have the skill to do a wedding.
I recently took photos of a friend's cat and it was brought home to me that the results were not very good and I know nothing about WB and lighting and I have been experimenting with a grey card.
But I know not to give up my day job.

2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 22, 2012)

jorepuusa, you can go 10 years to schools if you like. When clients don't like your work, you won't get a single cent for it. Your work has just so much value, what somebody wants to pay for it. Photography schools don't change that.

2 upvotes
random78
By random78 (May 22, 2012)

There are countless books, magazine articles and internet articles available on photography. You would think that the world will be full of pro-grade photographers, but its not. Being a good and successful photographer typically requires a lot of dedication, practice, experience and creative vision. Articles like this cannot turn someone into a pro. They just show the path to those who are willing to put in the effort and have the vision. Said another way, if all a professional photographer knows can be conveyed through an article like this than I am afraid that "professional" photographer doesn't deserve to paid very high.

3 upvotes
Donald B
By Donald B (May 22, 2012)

what a funny comment. ive trained many a tradesman in my time and have been very happy for them to succeed or even take over my job and made my job easyer" that is success ". i never liked people that never passed on their skills in fear of losing their job position.

2 upvotes
Larry Kohlruss
By Larry Kohlruss (May 22, 2012)

The word Professional, only means that you are Proficient at something. I've seen photo works by UNTRAINED photographers, that not many ever come close to achieving. I also have seen the works of MANY so called Trained Professional Photographers, that are no better than what my 13 year old daughter can do. It's no different than any of the Art Professions. Training CAN help, but if you don't have the eye, NO amount of training will really help. And sometimes, all that is needed is a little help.Those that can, "DO". Those that can't, "COMPLAIN"... lol

2 upvotes
SheriB
By SheriB (May 23, 2012)

I have to disagree with one point.The word Professional means you make a living at what you do. You have to admit that there are many people out there calling them self a pro that if they tried to shoot with the big boys would get a reality check.The market HAS changed. mom-a razzi , digital cameras and social media all seem to have lowered the expectations of the common man as to what is good photography.I am handly with a camera and have a good eye but still have tons to learn along the technical side. If it wasn't for articles like these I would have no way of learning. I work full time and there are no schools nearby. Even adult education classes seem to revolve around ' how to use your new camera' So it's internet learning or give up...Thanks to pros who give us these tips and articles.

1 upvote
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 23, 2012)

I am a Finnish pressphotographer, whole trade, whole bisness has collapsed and amateurs and editors do most of the shooting, They shoot for free cause it´s cool or their fee is 10% of that what pros would take. That is mostly because other pros teach basics is web. So by teaching amateurs to take pictures You kill another photographers living in some part of the world. That is terrible and very stupid. But it cannot be helped, profession is going to die in a few years because people are greed and take for free anything they can and then use it for themselves only.
Those who work in papers care only what everything costs not the quality of pictures and that is going to affect democracy also. Journalism should be watching the governments, how can it do it when pictures are cheap s..t.

1 upvote
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 23, 2012)

The sense of entitlement in this post makes my head spin. There's no law of the universe that says that photography should be a mystic priesthood whose secrets are only given to the initiated. Photography may be a dying as a profession, but that's not a bad thing — just a new thing. If you want to make money from it, adapt or die. It's not "greed" that's forcing this. If anything, your idea that knowledge must be kept secret for the monetary benefit of a certain few elect is the greedy one.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 23, 2012)

You tell it greedy that I want to make living for my family for something I learned 35 years and You want to take it away for free? I would not give a s..t if amateurs learned what ever, the question is that as soon as they have learned something they start doing gigs for free. Got the point.
Get all the info You want that´s ok, but give a little respect to those who teach You and at least ask for the same money when shooting gigs.
Here in Finland a pro takes about 1500 use shooting a wedding, an amateur asks for 100 usd, does not pay taxes and does not give a s..t about quality. What if every profession went through the same. Doctors started to write how to make appendix disappear and amateurs started cutting people open for a few bucks. Well some died but so what...

1 upvote
Wrathoftheolives
By Wrathoftheolives (May 24, 2012)

Lol, that was funny.

0 upvotes
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 24, 2012)

What was funny? Was it funny when I tried to defense the rights of pro photographers? Or was something else funny? The funniest part are those who're not brave enough to use their names and write short and stupid comments which have nothing to say. That way we make the world a better place.

1 upvote
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 25, 2012)

Jore, I'm a computer tech worker. I see that you're posting from a personal computer. Please send that back in, in order to protect my rights, because computers really only belong in the data center in the hands of knowledgeable people who have spent time and money learning how to run computers properly. The data center profession is time-honored but is dying a horrible death at the hands of amateurs. You doing that kind of information-technology stuff yourself impinges on our god-given right to make money from secret knowledge. So, please, think of everyone you are hurting and stay away from using computer technology. (It's okay if you don't respond to this — that way, I'll know you've done the right thing and turned your computer off. Thanks!)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 25, 2012)

To put that less sarcastically: your profession isn't dying because professionals are leaking the secrets. In fact, if you read camera-club journals from a hundred years ago, you'll find surprisingly identical content (and, humorously, often the same sort of complaint you have now). But it's not sharing that's killing professional photography. It's disruptive digital technology. Amateurs put more photographs on Facebook every month than professionals took in the entire 20th century *combined*. The world is changing, and your ability to extract rent from it as a gatekeeper to secrets is left behind. You'll need to be clever if you want to find a new way to make money from photography.

1 upvote
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 25, 2012)

I am against sharing information so that those who get it for free start shooting for free or for minimum money. It does not help to be clever, in this country where I live ( Finland) there are only certain amount of jobs. Being clever does not help if gigs go for those who shoot them for free. Profession is really dying, Young pros cannot get jobs anymore cause those who have no morals steal their living by giving away shitty pics for free. Is that being clever, in my standard it`s not. The standard of visuals in pictures is going down cause there are no more pros to get it further.
I am not the only one to think like this. Most of those who are pros and I know are really sad about those colleagues around who kill the profession by sharing detailed information. Some have already stopped it cause they get nothing of sharing, only more people demanding more and more.
If it´s there, I have to have it --is the way young people think and are ready to steal what they can.

2 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 26, 2012)

Oh, I don't doubt that the profession is dying. That happened to mainframe computer operators too. And certainly, the computing experience people get when doing their own systems maintenance is questionable — look at the botnets and viruses everywhere. That wouldn't happen if the operator's cabal was still in control. Likewise, there sure is a lot of terrible photography out there. But, if it weren't for the PC and the democratization of computing, there would be no internet as it stands today, and the massive growth and interconnectedness that has provided would have been stunted. It's the same with photography. Sorry you don't get to keep your sacred secret priesthood, but it was never really yours in the first place.

1 upvote
jorepuusa
By jorepuusa (May 27, 2012)

I made living as a photographer from 1972 to lets say 2008-2010 now it´s impossible by trying to maintain a high visual standard of pictures. You Matthew get what You do not pay for, lousy pictures but cheap--- good luck. I´m going to pension happily.

1 upvote
temama
By temama (May 27, 2012)

I agree with you on this, Jore.

And for others:

Jore Puusa knows what he is talking about. He is a true professional and has made a significant career as a pressphotographer (thought, this is probably the wrong thread to talk about it - ).

Anyway...Did you know that this Jore is the same guy - same pro- who runs in this video with Carl Lewis (Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics)?! Yes, he is ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7GE06jRCMc

(from 4:10 -forward )
...and then took a photograph that was the day's most published photo in America! Believe me .

...He has spent the years as press photographer in crisis and war zones around the world.

http://puusa.blogspot.com/p/lehtikuva.html

And seen there more than wanted to see, more than no one wants to see.

I just wanted to tell you this that you know...He has a exceptional perspective to this topic.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (May 22, 2012)

Light from behind; reflectors in front to fill within 1-stop is a good one-light technique.

5 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (May 22, 2012)

Short and sweet. Good article.

5 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (May 22, 2012)

Thanks for some good ideas (especially the last one, as a combination of contrasty feathering and background lighting with a shadow). I"ll have to try that someday.
Roel.

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 22, 2012)

Great article. Thank you. So many don't consider a single light as studio lighting or try Strobist when a single monolight might be a better alternative so Kudos for this. This type of thing just helps people think about getting into a home studio situation or even carrying a single monolight with a battery pack on location.

So many think you have to start with three, four or five lights. I started with two and have over six now, but don't use them all very often. Many times I take only one and a reflector into the field.

Again, Thank you and Kudos to DPReview and Thomas Park for a great job.

2 upvotes
Daryl Cheshire
By Daryl Cheshire (May 22, 2012)

I recently read that a light is best for movies and stills photographers should use a strobe.
So does it come down to opinion and experience and that the choice is a situational thing?
I imagine that you would have to take test photos with a strobe setup but lighting would be easier to visualise.

0 upvotes
Art Guertin
By Art Guertin (May 22, 2012)

Thank you for taking the time and expense to craft this very informative article - Life is an ongoing learning process - Once you stop learning, you die. He who breathes life (learning) into others is truely gifted and appreciated.

1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 23, 2012)

Daryl, a monolight is a strobe and it doesn't matter for this kind of thing. For demo, he has to use continuous or a modeling lamp. Movies obviously can't use a strobe. Regardless the techniques are the same. Hot continuous lighting is often a pain for live models. Cool continuous is often not powerful enough.

Again, the techniques are the same. Most people use strobe type monolights or pack and head lights for studios. To learn more try www.paulcbuff.com

1 upvote
muxer29
By muxer29 (May 23, 2012)

Very nice article. Very similar to this one i read a while back here http://sidvasandani.blogspot.mx/2010/02/one-light-wonders.html

I love what is possible with a single light source.

0 upvotes
Wrathoftheolives
By Wrathoftheolives (May 24, 2012)

Hmm...I think there better one light demonstrations on the web. Specifically, Zack Arias has a good demonstration video of one light solutions. The photos here are overexposed and at times flat. There is a fine line between bleached photos and overexposed photos.

0 upvotes
Dan Wagner
By Dan Wagner (May 26, 2012)

There's no way else to say it, but the photos are hideous. One light was used, big deal as it was used poorly. If the photog was trying to make the models look grotesque, then kudos -- I take it all back.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
activator
By activator (Jun 2, 2012)

An article that makes a good point.
The snipers miss the main point.......try lighting with one light source .

0 upvotes
Total comments: 94