How to Create Great Light Using Just 1 Speedlight

Photography is an expensive artform to embrace. With camera bodies, lenses, tripods, and lighting equipment, your gear can cost you a pretty penny. What’s important, especially when starting out, is to learn how use each item in your bag to its fullest.

After investing in a camera body and a few lenses, a speedlight is one of the first purchases a photographer makes. Why? Because speedlights are portable, lightweight and relatively inexpensive. More importantly, they can be used to light just about anything if they are used correctly. (Just ask Mike Fulton, he’s teaching an entire course on speedlights this week on CreativeLive).

Our friends at DIY Photography published a great list of all of the ways you can remedy a bad lighting situation using one speedlight. Here are a few we’d like to highlight:

Laya Gerlock Photography

In this image, photographer Laya Gerlock stays in the studio, positioning his light at a 45 degree angle from his subject – the classic, “go to” angle for portraits.

Laya Gerlock Photography

Here, Laya mounts his speedlight directly above his subject, causing dramatic shadows and highlighting the subjects unique features.

Laya Gerlock Photography

Another great example of lighting from above.

Laya Gerlock Photography

Despite owning a grip of professional photography gear, Laya often keeps it simple and works with one speedlight so he can capture street images like the one above. “One light is very portable, and it’s easier to travel light…you can simply hand hold your speedlight while shooting,” says Laya.

Laya Gerlock Photography

All this beautiful image takes is a nice sheet of black granite, a white background and a speedlight. The speedlight is placed directly under the granite and is close enough to the white background so that light can travel up and create the perfect backlit effect.

For more examples of what you can do with one speedlight, read Laya’s full article on DIY here. To find out more tips on speedlighting, check out Mike Fulton’s CreativeLive course.

Source: DIY Photography

Topher Kelly FOLLOW >

Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.