One Light Photography

wxzhuo

Only have a single light? No problem. You can still take good photos with it, and you only need some tips and techniques. Full guide - http://xlightphotography.com/one-light-photography/

One Light

Photography

The Basics


Hello!

I am WS Toh

Being a self-taught photographer, I give

back to the community by giving free

tutorials.

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1.

On-Camera

Flash

A simple 4 steps process

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STEP 1: BACKGROUND FIRST

Always start a photo without the

flash. Meter the background,

and establish the base settings

on your camera.

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STEP 2: INCLUDE SUBJECT

Now add your subject to the

scene. With the current camera

settings, the background should

be well-exposed, but the

subject dark.

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STEP 3: ADD FLASH

With a little bit of flash magic,

that should “light” your subject

back into the scene. It does not

quite matter if you use TTL or

manual. TTL simply makes

things easier with a lot less

guess work on the flash power,

while you just have to guess on

manual.

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STEP 4: COMPENSATE

If the picture is still a bit off, try

compensating with the flash

exposure, re-adjusting your

settings, or change the

direction of the flash head. You

will eventually nail it.

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2.

Off-Camera

Flash

Not on the camera? No problem.

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RECOMMENDED GEAR

Light Stand

You know what this

does…

Bracket

Holds the softbox and

flash in place.

Softbox

Softens light.

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HOW TO TRIGGER OFF-CAMERA #1 :

MASTER-SLAVE MODE

• Most flash units come with

a slave mode “by default”.

• In slave mode, the flash

fires itself when it detects

another bright flash.

• Problem is – you will need

another flash to act as the

master.

• Also, this will not work well

when the slave flash is

inside a softbox.

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HOW TO TRIGGER OFF-CAMERA #2 :

WIRELESS TRIGGERS

• Wireless triggers are small wireless devices

you attach to the camera/flash.

• The unit attached to the camera is called the

“transmitter”.

• The unit attached to the flash is called

“receiver”.

• There are units that can be attached to either

the camera or flash, and they are called

“transceiver”.

• These devices are preferred because they use

radio signals, and are more reliable.

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FIRST STEP OF OFF-CAMERA

SETUP THE WIRELESS TRIGGERS

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SECOND STEP OF OFF-CAMERA

SETUP THE SOFTBOX

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3.

Flash Tips

How to flash. Properly.

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PLAY WITH DIRECTION OF LIGHT #1

FRONT LIGHT

This is not a one light setup, but just take it as an example of how

the positioning can drastically change the photo.

Front lighting is one of the most common and usually gives a flat,

evenly lit profile.

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PLAY WITH DIRECTION OF LIGHT #2

SIDE LIGHT

Side lighting usually produces dramatic photos. One of my

personal favorites.

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PLAY WITH DIRECTION OF LIGHT #3

BACK LIGHT

This is not a one light setup, but just take it as an example of how

the positioning can drastically change the photo.

Back lighting is usually used with another front/side light (unless

you want to create a silhouette). It creates that “glow” around the

subject, which we also often call “rim light”.

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SAY NO TO DIRECT BARE FLASH

• Direct bare flash hits are

bad!

• Usually results in a

washed out white subject.

• They are harsh, and they

are very unflattering.

• I call this the “nuclear

flash” (TM).

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FLASH HACKS

If direct flash is bad, how do

we make it “good”?

• We soften the harsh light

via various means.

• Softboxes are the most

commonly solution.

• If not, the “budget” way is

to use tissue papers,

plastic bags, party plates,

cups and whatever you

can find.

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BOUNCE THE FLASH

Is on-camera flash not

working too well for you?

Need to balance out an split

“half-black-white” subject?

Then use a reflector to put

some of those light back

onto your subject.

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NOTE THE SURROUNDING LIGHTS

Your flash is not the only

source of light! When you

are shoot outdoors, know

that the sun is probably a

stronger source of light than

your flash! Even when you

are indoors, lamps and

fixtures are also sources of

light.

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COLOR GELS

Need to spice things up a

little? No need to break the

piggy bank, cheap color gels

are an easy to use and

affordable way to make

some visual impact.

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WHEN TO AVOID FLASH

Flash is not a solution for

“everything photography”. There

are times you will want to avoid

using flash.

• Babies are more sensitive to

bright lights. You do not want to

scare or injure them.

• You never know how animals

will react to sudden flashes.

• Objects with reflective surfaces

are bad with flash.

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THE END!

Please visit X-Light Photography, where you

will find the full free One Light Photography

tutorial.

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