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Hi and welcome back.

On December 14 and 15 I was at Unique Photo presenting and speaking on lighting.  I ran one of the lighting demo stations and was just having a blast!

If you’ve not shopped at Unique, check them out: Unique Photo, Fairfield, NJ

I always try to do something different and this time was no exception.  Peter, my rep from Hensel, was there and I borrowed two strobes from him.

I set them up and we ran a few different lighting scenarios.  One of my favorites is basic key and fill with two lights and no reflectors.  I love this technique as it is simple to execute and gives amazing results.

Here is the BTS diagram.  My key is a Photek Softlighter II.  If you’ve never seen or heard of these, they are amazing!  You get a reflective umbrella, shoot through umbrella, and a softbox all in one kit.  The light out of it is amazing and it is reasonably priced:

Photek Softlighter II

Set your key light first, say at f/5.6, then set your fill light to f/4, at least 1 stop below the key and then adjust as needed.  Your exposure should increase a bit due to the added light.

Hensel Key and Fill


Here’s my initial test shot with Melanie, using only the Photek Softlighter as key.  You can see the shadows falling across her face from using only one light:

_RVH7415Now I’ve added the fill light.  Look at how the shadows are now filled in with the second light and how Melanie’s skin just glows:



Then it was Claire’s turn in the station:

_RVH7482 _RVH7496


Then Rae stopped in:

_RVH7500 _RVH7511


All exposures are the same despite the difference in skin tones!

This is a great way to execute a simple head or upper body shot with effective key and fill.

That’s it for now.  Till next time, expand your lighting knowledge in 2014!