Lighting a portrait with one light

This beautiful portrait was taken for Yvette in her home using only one light mixed with natural light. At first glance you might think it is all natural light. But I was actually using a small light mounted on a tripod and triggered with a Pocket wizard. Here are the technical specs.

ISO 100/shutter speed 125th of a sec./ aperture 3.2

Taken on a Nikon D700 with an 85 mm 1.8 lens

What I did was set the exposure to be just a notch down from what the ambient light exposure should have been so the background wouldn’t be to bright, and then set the light shot through an umbrella just off camera left to light her up a bit with nice soft light. I set her with the natural light coming from behind her to add a small edge of light that you can see on her arm and shoulders. This defines her visually from the background more to your eye.

See the below for an illustration of the room light and where the umbrella was.

 

About Seth Jacobson Photography

Living in Rhode Island and a bit obsessive about photography!!!

Posted on February 5, 2011, in behind the curtain, educational, photo tips, portrait photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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