Maybe You Only Need 1 Light

So many times we photographers think we need to use every single strobe light we own just because they are there in our bag. I've been a victim of it and I'm sure you have too. Instructional photographer Tony Corbell has an old video he made for the folks at Profoto which really showcases the variety of light you can get from just one single light source. There is an old saying that goes the best light is the light you have with you but maybe it should go the best light is sometimes the simplest light.

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11 Comments

Patrick Hall's picture

And I'll go ahead and say that yes this video is incredibly cheesy. I hope you guys can look past the production

I've seen it about two weeks ago. He made similar videos with two and three lights setup.

Yes, it's cheesy (I don't understand why he never looks at the camera when he's speaking), but you can take a lot from this short video. Thanks again Pat !

OMG, she is so pretty :)

The result at the last shot is absolutely beautiful. To achieve that with one flash is so inspiring!

I'm going to be able to conquer ANYTHING!!!!!! lol jk. It was a nice quick demo.

Richard Grebby's picture

Heh, I really need to upgrade to lights with modelling lamps so I can see the difference a little more easily.

All I ever use is one light. There is so much you can do with it if you just take the time to learn it in and out.

Brad Delaney's picture

Awesome little video. I too am guilty of being overly equipment conscious. Between this video and the fashion shoot done with the Iphone I realized i have to calm down a bit and work on the craft and not be so needy in the equipment stakes. I did a shoot recently for another photographer. I submitted the images and he was happy with the work. Some time later we were talking about equipment and I told him the camera that I used for that particular shoot. He then started bagging out the images even they were used in a national advertising campaign. Clearly, I think now, he was an equipment snob and he delighted in making the camera manufacturers wealthy by upgrading as soon a the new model came out. I will try to be not so eager to upgrade and hey its always cheaper if you are a model behind anyway.

I love the ending quote. If you can conquer one light you can conquer anything. Haha, the video is cheesy but it shows you don't need ten lights to produce a good image. I was going to say you don't need the best equipment but he is using profoto so that is out of the question.

I alternate between a Canon 430EX and ebay Flashgun for my pics. I always crave more powerful lighting though.

While yes, there is only one physical flash gun, the way i was taught is to always consider things like the sun and bounced lights to also be "lights."  I don't really think that last set up he did was that much simpler than if he used three lights.  He still have to place the diffusion panel and reflector and meter every location.