While working as a creative fashion photographer, I sometimes get caught up in doing 3-5 light set ups and forget how much fun it is to work in an environment with restriction. Putting a limitation can lead to finding novel solutions and experiments.
So this time I decided to try something different. I limited myself with using only one light throughout the entire shoot. The results have astounded me. It's unbelievable how much mood you can create by using just one light. By changing modifiers and the position of the light, you can completely transform your entire frame.
So let's go step-by-step and see how I used my MobiLED with the Move 1200 L and how it affected my frame.
As a start, I wanted a very dark and dramatic mood that focuses on my model's face and emphasises the shapes in my frame. At the same time, I wanted the shadow of my model to be spread only at the bottom without reaching the background. To achieve this, I suspended my MobiLED with a standard reflector at the top left side of my model. By slightly moving her closer or away from the light, I was getting either evenly spread shadows on her cheekbones or more dramatic sidelight. If I wanted the shadows to be softer from the side that was not illuminated, I would have used one or two bounce cards to fill them in.
The results were very impressive, hard structured images with dark and ominous undertone.
Next, I thought of playing around with a brighter frame yet keeping my light still hard – something like an afternoon sunlight. For this, I have removed the modifier and kept the lamp bare bulb. To create the colourful shadows on my model's face, I used colour gels. I kept them very close to my model while the light was far away - just like the sunlight would.
For the third set, I chose softer light with a wider range. Still using only one MobiLED, I have opted an Octabox as my modifier this time. I’ve put it above my model, slightly angled down to give a bit of more gradual light spread.
The bigger modifier provided more light in the frame and illuminated the background and outfit more while keeping in line with drama but adding softness to the texture and shadows on the face.
As a final step, I used a Beautydish suspended just like the previous Octabox and added two reflectors – one below on the right bouncing the light towards the chin area and softening the shadows, while the other one on the bottom right which added highlights to the cheekbone for additional shine. Since the Beautydish is a mix of hard and soft light, this setup added a touch of glam to my frame.
Just like that, using only one MobiLED light I was able to create four different moods with different textures and emotions.
We don’t always have the opportunity to carry all our lights with us. But as you can see, even one can be enough to achieve wide variety of creative expressions.