NOVO HELIX T50 CARBON FIBRE TRIPOD KIT CHECK OUT THIS HIGHLY RECOMMENED TRIPOD ONLY 299

Multiple Lighting With Only One Light

dark_lord

Thank you for looking at my portfolio. I hope you find some images you like.
I read all your comments and look through the gallery, but I may only vote rather than comment.
...Read More
Profile

Multiple Lighting With Only One Light

10 Feb 2021 10:23PM   Views : 694 Unique : 504

One light is all you need for most photography, but sometimes two or more are needed for practical reasons or creativity.

The majority of photography makes do with one light. The one that's been burning continuously for four and a half billion years serves us well. Some say an image with more than one light source isn't natural. Clearly they haven't opened their eyes and don't want to be creative. Even early humans knew about multiple light sources the full moon and a campfire. Multiple light sources inside dwellings too, whether that's oil lamps or LEDs (take your pick, it's a generational thing), windows at either end of a room, the glow from smartphones and monitors. You get the idea.

You can shoot a whole host of portraits using just one light, with modifying devices giving endless possibilities. Add a backlight or hairlight and the image takes on a whole new look. The same is true of still life setups. Interiors and exteriors of buildings too. Using more than one light gives a lot o creative scope. But if you've only one light, there are still options. The technique I'm describing is best suited to static subjects, but that does leave room for experimentation.

Let's consider a practical issue. You want to light a structure but you need several floodlights. This is classic painting with light. You can walk around the structure illuminating it with an LED work lamp or firing multiple flashes. OK, so that's not new, it's a well used technique. The image is built up on one frame as the shutter is held open. Indeed you can still do it that way if desired.

18034_1612995407.jpg


There is another way that offers greater control over the final result and this involves blending together several images using Layers. This is why a static subject is much easier to cope with as the camera needs to stay firmly fixed so that layering up multiple images mean they all align. There is also more freedom and flexibility around capture. You can light specific parts of your subject one at a time and make sure it's looking good. Consider spending half a minute perfectly panting a building only to mess up on the final bit and having to start again. However, when using the technique with film, as I did many years ago, I had to do it 'all in one go' and to be fair the results were fine. Even then, I used flash with coloured gels, just holding them in front of the flash and changing them over while the flash recycled. It was a great help to have someone cover the lens between exposures, something unnecessary if shooting multiple frames with remote controlled flash and blending the images together later.

18034_1612995467.jpg


Exposure with flash isn't hard. With coloured gels giving lower levels of illumination you need all the light you can get. Keeping two to four metres away and setting the flash output to Manual (often on full power) gives fine results and is a good starting point which you may or may not need to adjust.

Exposure using LED lamps or torches can be determined much more easily in the same way as you would for any subject lit with a continuous light source (continuous in terms of being on continuously, rather than emitting a continuous spectrum, there may be physicists reading this!). Look out for illumination and shadows from one light source and how they interact with those from another.

18034_1612995534.jpg


Still life is ideal for this technique and a small LED torch is fine. Indeed you don't need more than that. That said I have used my small LED hand torch to put light on a building albeit at high ISO. In the cottage image, I used ISO 6400 to record the sky and Milky Way but the building only needed to be illuminated for two to three seconds, and I was a distance away. My torch has individually switchable white, red, green and blue LEDs so I have enough options to play with (and of course I can easily create yellow, magenta and cyan too).

Once you have your series of images you need to stack them and then remove the parts of those images you don't want. You could use the Eraser tool, but the best option is to use Layer Masks because while you can adjust opacity and alter blend modes the important thing is that any changes are easily reversible just by painting the mask back in or out as required. Experiment.

18034_1612995601.jpg



All text and images Keith Rowley 2021

Recent blogs by dark_lord

Unedited Images Rediscovered

While browsing for some image files recently I came across a folder containing a couple of dozen picures. I was sure I'd taken more than that. We all have our preferred workflow. On the whole I like to go through the results of a shoot fairly soon ...

Posted: 27 Nov 2022 5:49PM

Analogue Magic

One of the fascinations of analogue, or film, photography was watching an image appear in front of your eyes on the paper in a developing tray. Apologies first for not posting anything for a while as I've had some health issues to contend with for w...

Posted: 4 Nov 2022 4:40PM

Tripods A Personal History

Tripods are very useful accessories and in some cases indispensable for some types of photography. Some models are more suitable than others and Ive had a few over the years. Your working style and/or genre may mean you don't have an immediate need ...

Posted: 23 Aug 2022 3:01PM

Bird Photography (On a Budget)

Not everyone can afford extreme telephoto lenses for bird photography. Lower cost gear is perfectly effective and getting the best out of it will improve you as a photographer. We've all looked at fantastic bird images and thought that if we too had...

Posted: 12 Aug 2022 3:07PM

Black and White, We Can Learn From the Old Days

It's simple to produce a monochrome image these days. Creating a good one and realising your vision is another matter. Black and white images can be intensely powerful, muh more so than colour. Just think of some of the iconic images from the 20th C...

Posted: 13 Jul 2022 10:11AM

There are no comments here! Be the first!

Login

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.