I love photography that’s simple therefore, I am drawn to only using one light. This weekend I took a couple friends a blue light gel and my Nikon SB700 speedlight on a photographic adventure. The results were more than expected with an added punch to my urban photographs.
The Power of One Light Photography
The simpleness of one light photography makes it an outdoor photographer’s dream. The equipment is minimal yet you can achieve dramatic results. The above photos were all shot with one SB700 covered in a blue gel set to the left and the sunlight. The set up can’t get much easier unless you only use ambient sunlight.
Colors to Boost Drama
Adding colored gels to your speedlights really add drama to any photograph. They mimic stage lighting used for theater productions. For this dance photography lover, it doesn’t get much better than reproducing theater shots outdoors! By placing the colored speedlight to the left of the subject and using the ambient sunlight on the right, you get a balanced photograph that isn’t too blue. You can also move from high key to just a rim light effect when you adjust your shutterspeed and aperture accordingly. You can also vary the distance between the light and your subject to deepen or lessen the intensity of the blue light.
I would highly encourage any new photographers to master one light before moving onto others. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to carry around one set of lights and get amazing effects. Once you’ve mastered this technique you can add more lights to your kit, but it’s definitely not mandatory!
Share your one light photography uses or tips in the comments and keep shooting!