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Creating a Thin Beam of Light With Off-Camera Flash

Light is a key factor in photography. It helps shape and create your photo. As the sun changes throughout the day, depending on where you are you may see some thin beams of light fall across the environment. Creating these thin light beams and adding them to your portraits can add some interesting looks. Controlling the light into small beams is one way to create drama and mood in your work. How would you create a thin beam of light on set?

Gavin Hoey with Adorama shows his studio setup and goes through a few different scenarios showing us how he creates and controls the light beam exactly how he wants it. For this demonstration, Hoey uses two Flashpoint eVOLV 200; one attached to a snoot and the other using barn doors. It didn't end there as the desired effect wasn't achieved just yet, Hoey uses a mailing tube which was cut into two different lengths and then attaching it over the snoot to help him control the light beam.

What else could you use to create these beams of light? You could use a large poster board with a slit cut through it positioned a few feet in front of the light. It doesn't have to be a slit or single shape either. Get creative. How would you control the light to create this look?

Alex Ventura's picture

Staff writer Alex Ventura is a professional photographer based out of the Houston area that specializes in automotive and glamour with the occasional adventures into other genres. He regularly covers automotive related events for Houston Streets & Spekture with some publications in the United States.

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Interesting demonstration of how you can get an unusual effect using basic equipment combined with some experimentation and creativity. Many thanks for sharing.

I mean I’d probably use an optical spot but that might be too easy....

We did this more than 40 years ago - we use cones made with tin foil to create what we call “squeeze lighting”. We can shape the light any way we want !

I wish I saw this before I used a fiber laser that melted my talent's face.
Oh well live and learn, am I right!

I don't know why he doesn't just twist the tube instead of re-sticking the tape at different angles.