A Singular Source

5 January 2011 | In Photography | American Photo 1 January 2011 issue
Written by: Joe Mcnally
A Singular Source Sometimes you need only one light for a great portrait-you just have to give it character

I've never met a photographer I couldn't outlight. I have enough flash power in my garage to short out the Eastern Seaboard. Yet in the natural world, as we all know, there's only one light source: the sun. And Mother Nature does just fine with it. Photographers, take note. Using a single light doesn't mean you're stuck with the same approach, feel or color. A single source can produce an almost infinite variety of shading, texture, sharpness and softness. But when you bet the farm, and the job, on just one light, you'd better give it expression and purpose. Size matters. Position matters. So do distance and color.

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TAGS: light effect
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