One of the best things a portrait photographer can do is learn how to master a single off-camera light. Most photo shoots don’t allow enough time to set up multiple lights, and when shooting on location, carrying more than one light can be too cumbersome to manage. In this video, we see a very useful way to use one off-camera flash with some simple modifiers to create a dramatic portrait.
The first thing Aaron Anderson does is set up his Elinchrom studio light with a 53-inch octabox. In order to control the light and create a shadow across the camera right side of the subject's face, Anderson uses a black flag. Because the light is close to the subject, we have a very nice and soft light, but we also get a very quick light falloff. To combat this, Anderson uses a white card to camera left to reflect some of the light and fill in some of the shadows. The closer the white card is to the subject, the more filled in the shadows will be.
As an added bonus, Anderson also shares his step-by-step post-processing for this image in the video below.