Andrea Belluso Draws Lines With Light Using Profoto Strip Softboxes for a Dramatic Portrait

In this video, Photographer Andrea Belluso uses strip softboxes to create dramatic portraits of his friend and pilot along with a gliding airplane. Strip softboxes create soft light with a long highlight on the aircraft body.

The main light was a Softbox RFi 1x6-foot equipped with a Softgrid powered by a Profoto B1 monolight. The Softgrid increases the contrast as well as to reduce the light spread. Placing the main light to the side of the subject at a 90-degree angle increased the drama by strengthening the shadow.

Softbox placement diagram for portrait photos. Photo by Andrea Belluso.

A second RFi 1x6-foot strip softbox without a Softgrid was used to light the front of the aircraft. The recessed front of the softbox controlled the light spread. This light draws the outline on the nose and the cockpit of the plane out of the deep shadows of the airplane hangar.

A third and final RFi 1x6-foot strip softbox was used to light behind the cockpit. This softbox was equipped with a Stripmask, an optional accessory mounted onto the strip softbox to create an even narrower light spread. The longer shape of the strip mask gives me a very soft light in one direction, while its narrow width gives a much harder light in the other direction. This created a narrow light on the back of the fuselage. The two highlights created by the two strip softboxes can clearly be seen in the final image.

Belluso added a fourth B1 that was equipped with a Magnum Reflector. "The effect from this light is really subtle," he said. "I just wanted to add a bit more light to the wing in the back."

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4 Comments

This video came out three years ago and now you are barely talking about it?

Garrett Reid's picture

My first thought too. Better late than never I suppose.

"The longer shape of the strip mask gives me a very soft light in one direction, while its narrow width gives a much harder light in the other direction." Who wrote this? Dan or Andrea?

Every time I see Andrea in a YouTube video I keep thinking that it is only his mammy that knows him as "The Light Shaper"...