Two Light Portrait

January 5th, 2023

Two Light Portrait

Two Light Portrait

This is a very simple and quick portrait setup, giving quite a nice three dimensional feel to the image.

It’s basically a straight forward cross light setup. Frame left, I placed a large 4′ x 3′ softbox in an upright position, and pretty much level to our client. It was attached to an ELB400 with an EL adaptor, and firing at an output of 4.0 (equivalent to 100Ws).

Frame right, and beyond our subject, I had another ELB400 with EL adaptor, firing through a 30x140cm stripbox with a honeycomb fitted, again at an output of 4.0 (equivalent to 100Ws).

Both softboxes were fairly close to the subject.

Both the lights could be swapped for speedlights, if suitable modifiers and adaptors can be sought. Godox do a great adaptor with the S2, which is available in S fit and Elinchrom. And there are also now a plethora of softboxes designed specifically for speedlights. Regarding the power settings, potentially you may need to increase the ISO, or use a wider aperture to compensate. Dropping the aperture to f5.6 would allow the use of two speedlights at an output of a little more than a quarter, making this a very cheap portrait setup, creating pleasing results.

E-M1 mkII 1/125th sec ISO200 12-40mm f2.8 @f10

easy portrait lighting

A slightly different approach here, insofar as we have the subject turned a little more away from the camera and the key light is a little nearer the camera. The softbox is smaller for the keylight. I used an 80×80 folding softbox, mated to a studio 500Ws studio head, with the output dialled down to 125Ws. The accent light is still a honeycombed 30x140cm stripbox with another 500Ws head firing through it at 125Ws. It provides a brighter accent as it’s nearer our subject. The background was allowed to be visible, and add to the image.

The camera was set to 1/125th sec ISO100 f2.8

This is potentially one of the easiest portrait setups, and very easily converted to a speedlight setup. The keylight could quite easily be a reflective umbrella, although you may need to consider the effect of extraneous light. The accent could be a bare speedlight, providing you pay close attention to any potential flare. There are certainly enough grid kits available for speedlights though.

The modifiers came from The Flash Centre, who also carry suitable modifiers for speedlights.