Using Multiple Lights for Effect – Digital Photography Tip of the Week


The application of light in photography can make or break a photo. One of the things photographers do to make an outstanding photo is manipulate light to create depth, dimension and effect in their photos. They use multiple lights and light modifiers to do that.

In this photo, I have used two camera flashes, but any light source would have worked. I used one light to illuminate the rose, and the other to create the pattern on the background. Using a piece of greenery between the flash and the background created the patterns on the wall. This flash was aimed through the greenery, acting as a gobo, toward the wall. The pattern is the shadow this created. The second light was shot across the flower to illuminate it. Neither flash cast light upon the other surface. Had I been using a different type of light, one that spread out more such as a desk lamp, I would have needed to flag, or block, the light to prevent light spill.

You can see the setup I used in the following diagram:


I could have added a little more dimension to the rose by placing a white card to the left of it to reflect some of the light back into the rose on the other side. The full size image may be viewed on my Picture of the Day site.

Until next time, happy shooting.

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