There is a general feeling amongst some photographers that good pictures demand complex lighting arrangements. While this may be true in some cases, it is not necessarily a norm. Remember, we generally see the world illuminated by a single light source – the sun; and yet we see detail and modeling all around. Studio photography can also be done using a single light source, aided by some reflectors when necessary. To prove this point, we requested Mumbai-based professional photographer Farrokh Chothia to share with us his secret in capturing stunning images that he is known for.
The photograph reproduced here is that of professional Brazilian model Gabriela Bertante, which was shot using a single light source. In fact, it’s not even a ‘studio flash’ as such. The illumination is from a single household bulb with a small reflector – a reading lamp. The lamp was held in front of her face, above head-level, and pointed down at about 40 degrees. That’s it!
The negative space on the left gives depth and adds to the mood.
A Nikon D700 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens was used for the shot. White Balance was set to Incandescent to match the color of the household bulb. This has provided neutral tones on the model, while some daylight filtering onto the background has been rendered blueish. The composition is intriguing in that it teases the viewer and makes him want to ‘see’ more.
Model: Gabriela Bertante
Agency: Toabh Talents
Make-up and hair styling: Manzoor Khan
Photographer: Farrokh Chothia