Minimal lighting for Editorial

I always start with a single light.

I used sb900 in a 28″ Westcott Apollo for this setup triggered by alien bees cyber sync.


I work with minimal lighting in order to work fast. Here’s the detail for the photo:

ISO 200
24-70 @ 32mm
Shutter speed 1/20th
WB Flash
Sb900 around 1/8th power or 1/4th i can’t really remember.

Now, if you notice the shutter speed is around 1/20th. I used a slow shutter speed in order for the ambient light to burn the exposure and be included in the photo. IF I shot this around 1/250th i could still get the shot but with less ambient light. I want to include the background, the setting, the location and inform people it’s in a restaurant so I dragged the shutter to include the ambient light.I have one light, but with a slow shutter speed, I have used the surrounding tungsten to light her hair in order to give a subject and background separation. I also made sure that the subject’s face is not in any way being lit by the light bulbs that has surrounded the area because it will be hard to correct mixed WB in post production.

I have been given 10 minutes before the shoot to scout the area and setup my light. As a photographer in an assignment, you must come up with the best exposure at any given time. There’s no room to complain about lighting and how boring the background is(not this resto, because this restaurant is well decorated). You must always adjust to the situation. The situation will never adjust to you.

A few tips:

Flash power is controlled by your APERTURE

Ambient light is determined by your SHUTTER SPEED.

and Cranking up the ISO increases the light by one stop.

Well, there you go. I made this post as a request from a fellow photographer who is eager to learn lighting.

Hope I have enlightened you in some way.


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