5 Easy Speedlight Photography Setups to Take Your Images to the Next Level

Similar to most photographers, my off-camera flash journey started with the acquisition of a speedlight and a few cheap triggers. Many photographers will let you know that as quickly as you get a speedlight, you might want to purchase correct off-camera flash items. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless many issues you are able to do with a speedlight, and on this article, I’ll present you a few of them.

A single speedlite is usually all I’ve on a shoot. Whereas these occasions are uncommon, and sometimes, if I do have a single mild, it’s a Profoto B1X. There have been occasions when an A1 was all I had. To not fear, my pals. If all you’ve in your package is a speedlight from Amazon, you are able to do most of those setups anyway. In reality, I angled the article in a manner that allows as many photographers with a speedlight to do these setups. To create these setups, you’ll need: a speedlight, a distant set off, a lightweight stand, and presumably gels. It’s that straightforward, actually. In case you’re within the gear I’m utilizing, right here it’s: Profoto A1, Profoto Connect Pro, Profoto Clic Gel Teal, Manfrotto MLHHS-2, Avenger 40” C Stand kit.

Unhealthy Gentle

Some of the widespread seems these days is the so-called dangerous mild. You see, again within the day within the 80s, all you had was a point-and-shoot with a small level flash. Everybody regarded ugly in these images, and as quickly as softboxes and lighting data turned extra accessible, folks began classifying this mild as dangerous, and mushy nearly as good. Nonetheless, it looks as if the aesthetic is coming again to this very actual and raw-looking exhausting mild. This setup is tremendous widespread with occasion pictures and is usually accomplished with a cellphone as effectively. Your iPhone digital camera is just not that completely different from what I captured right here.

The approach right here is easy: I simply level the flash on the topic, overexpose the topic, and voila. The secret’s to overexpose. You possibly can have your mild set to TTL mode however ensure that to show up the ability by a cease or so. It will give the signature look. I say don’t be afraid of this look, as it’s gaining reputation. The aesthetic has shifted from fairly and clear in the direction of uncooked and actual.

Inventive Gentle 

By far essentially the most artistic setup out of those, which you need to use to get fascinating long-exposure portraits. Some speedlights these days have a built-in modeling lamp, which permits photographers to mild up their scene in a number of methods. The Profoto A1 is not any completely different and options such a lightweight. You possibly can even zoom it! Anyway, right here is how I did this setup. First, I made positive to make use of a protracted publicity. The thought was to have the flash be a distinct shade from the fixed mild. This may be accomplished by putting a gel over the flash simply as it’s about to fireplace. Therefore, the publicity time was round 1s. You will need to point out that that is solely attainable in a darkish room, as you wish to ensure that there are not any different mild sources hitting your topic. Ideally, have a pal do the gel half. To make issues much more enjoyable, you’ll be able to transfer the sunshine round because the shutter is open. This method is kind of tough, which is why after a couple of tries, I settled on the picture of putting the gel on the sunshine.

The Shut Background Means 

Easy, one mild pointed on the topic from the highest, nonetheless, the topic is positioned proper on the background. This manner, you get nearly no shadows, and your lighting is paying homage to how a hoop mild would behave. Since I used to be alone doing these photographs, I needed to set off the digital camera remotely. Nonetheless, to raised this setup, you’ll be able to take the sunshine off-camera and place it proper subsequent to the lens. Some photographers use a bracket for this. Whereas a really 80s approach, it does give off superb high-quality exhausting mild that brings out element within the topic. Use with warning, as that is in all probability not essentially the most flattering approach.


If flattering is what you might be searching for, then the following two setups are for you. Within the first one, I place the sunshine overhead however sit behind it. As such, the speedlight is lighting the background, and never me straight. What this does is flip the background into an enormous mild supply, thereby giving a backlit impact. That is wonderful for highlighting facial construction in addition to hiding dangerous spots on one’s pores and skin. This setup can work effectively by itself or be an important basis for including extra lights and crafting the picture additional. One other method to construct on this setup is to position the topic behind a black piece of cloth in a manner that solely covers the topic and nothing else. This manner, you’re going to get a rim mild going throughout the individual.

The Basic Bounce

The final setup is probably the one you already know, however for individuals who don’t, right here is get mushy mild quick. Basically, this is among the first methods photographers be taught when beginning their flash journey. Nonetheless, I see so many individuals do it incorrect. Whereas the idea of bouncing mild is pretty simple to clarify: massive mild = mushy mild, the fitting manner is usually a little difficult. Most photographers, myself included, will both intention the speedlight straight on the ceiling or at a proper angle away from the topic. These usually are not one of the best methods to bounce mild, as you might be making a prime mild and shadows underneath the eyes with the primary technique, whereas the second technique could depart folks behind you blind for a minute. The correct method to bounce mild is to intention the flash head at a 45-degree angle away from the topic. This manner, you can be wrapping your topic in mild from each the ceiling and the wall. As such, there can be no darkish shadows underneath the eyes, and the folks behind your digital camera received’t get blinded.

Are there any cool one-speedlight setups that you already know? Share with us within the feedback under!

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