How to turn your single light into a multi-light setup… sort of

May 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How to turn your single light into a multi-light setup… sort of

May 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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If you don’t own several strobes or simply don’t feel like making complicated lighting setups, you can use just one light and still get professional shots. In fact, you can turn this single light into two, three or even more lights. Well – kind of. It’s pretty simple, but you’ll need some Photoshop magic. In this video from Adorama, Gavin Hoey will show you how.

Sine you will be stacking multiple images in Photoshop, you will need a sturdy tripod and a subject that doesn’t move. While this method isn’t exactly ideal for portraits, you can do wonders with it if you shoot product or still life photography.

So, set up your camera, subject, and your light source. Take multiple shots, each time changing the position of your light so that you get key light, fill light, back light and so on. When you’re done, it’s time for image stacking.

Open your photos in Photoshop and load them as a stack. Setting the blending mode to Lighten or Screen will mix the lights from different images. Keep in mind that they need to be perfectly aligned, so zoom in and make adjustments if necessary. Also, you can mask out the parts which appear too bright when you blend the images in.

Make sure to watch Gavin’s video for more details and some more tips and tricks. And when you see his examples, you’ll see that this is a pretty handy way of getting professional-looking product shots with just one light.

[Rim Light With One Light | Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey via LensVid]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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One response to “How to turn your single light into a multi-light setup… sort of”

  1. Zer0 Avatar
    Zer0

    Excellent tutorial!