One Speedlite setup for great-looking portraits2

Letty lit by one Speedlite without any reflectors. Photo by Greg Matthews

Picking up where I left off in Part One, I should emphasize again that you don’t actually have to spend a lot of money to get these types of results.

If you don’t have the budget for a boom, just get an assistant to hold  your one Speedlight which is attached to a lightstand via swivel bracket.

Two reflectors placed strategically in the right places can produce wonderful results.

The image on the left by Greg Matthews, a participant in my Small Flash Lighting workshop is such an example.

We placed Greg’s Speedlite on a swivel bracket raised it above Letty’s head about 5 feet behind Letty and to the left and aimed it downwards.

We fussed with the placement of the Speedlite until we got the image on the left.

When we finally got the hair and rim light around Letty to what we liked, we introduced one reflector on the left just outside the frame.

It helps to have a stand to which you can attach your reflector by the way.

You want to lock everything down as much as possible, so that you are only changing one element at a time if possible.

After I introduced one reflector on the left, I noticed Letty’s face on the right side was still under-exposed, that’s when I added a 2nd reflector.

Greg’s dynamic composition did the rest.

I loved that he chose a slight tilt of the horizon.

In his forensic photography, I doubt he can get away with a horizon that is so slanted.

Exposure for this picture according to the metadata is ISO 100 55mm lens set at f4.

Because ambient light is several stops under from what this picture was made,  the background is very underexposed with hardly any detail whatsoever.

If he had shot strictly with available light, Greg would have needed to use  ISO 800 1/60 sec @ f2.8.

That means the available light is 4-stops less than his flash exposure.

See his final  “low key” image below.

Letty in the final image lit by one Speedlite and 2 reflectors. Photo by Greg Matthews

It’s really an excellent image of Letty, don’t you agree?

Peter Phun Photography

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