December 2020 // The How-to Edition

One-Light Setups | John Gress

Model: Jude Hansen Settings: f4.5 @ 1/600 ISO 100

You can create your own magic anywhere you want with a battery-powered light and a small softbox or umbrella. When shooting outside, I love using the sun as my hair light and a softbox as my main light. No matter how bright the natural light is, placing the sun behind your subject will either create a subtle rim light on a cloudy day or a brilliant one on a sunny day. Then you can light up their face beautifully and perfect it with a softbox. Just be careful not to have a light source too small and too far to one side because if you do so on a sunny day, the shadows can be rather harsh and deep. So, just be cognizant of that possibility while you’re shooting and review the images as you go to make sure that you’re not making this mistake. If you find a composition that you really want to shoot but it means having the sun to your back, you can put the model in shade, perhaps by using the softbox or any type of flag from a reflector to a recycled cardboard box. Then you can light them perfectly with your strobe, eliminating the harsh shadows that you would get from natural light.

For over 20 years, Chicago photographer and director John Gress has created stunning photography and videos for some of America’s largest companies and international media outlets. His work has included national lifestyle advertising, portraits and videos for the beauty

industry, and action photography of professional athletes. website: johngress.com instagram: @johngressmedia

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