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One speedlight, one reflector...

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Since I recently read on this forum about the ability to shoot portraits with one light and a reflector, I thought I would share my results from tonight.

Keeping it simple, I used a SB800 on an umbrella and a silver reflector to shoot this series. Of course a little post help from Aperture, Nik plugins and CS3.




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All of those are great! I really love the second though. It's the eyes, so big and so blue, how could you not love that!

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Excellent work! I like them all. You did a great job with the flash and reflector. So often simple can be very effective, like these smile

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These are very nice. I'll have to look into this method. I've been looking for a way to do hobby portraits for family and friends without going too bonkers on the gear.

If I can have a nit about these shots, I'd say the detailed reflection of the umbrella frame in the eyes is a little distracting to me-- looks like little peace signs or something. That's just my humble opinion, and I'd certainly be very, very happy to get results like these. Very cute baby!

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Thanks for the nice comments everyone.


Yeah, I noticed the umbrella right away in post processing... although it really wasn't much of a surprise. I was a little worried about it when shooting with the light source so close to her.

It really was the lesser of two evils. I was trying to abide by the inverse square law for lighting to get the background to go black, while trying to maintain the quality of light blanketing the subject on these.

Although I chose to keep the light source close to the subject to maintain the quality of light and reduce the spill over on the background, I had a feeling that I would be maximizing the reflection in her eyes... nothing I could really do. Especially since I was trying to pull this off with one light.

However, the answer is yes. I could have minimized the reflection in her eye by backing off the light source. It would have made the reflection much smaller, but would have also give a stop or two to the background as well as changing the quality of light blanketing the subject... making it more of a point source light.

Thanks for you comments though. Like I said earlier, I noticed the reflection in her eyes almost immediately and wished it wasn't as pronounced.

Happy shooting,


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I love the big Blue Eyes. Almost unreal blue. Awesome.

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