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Photo Deconstruction – One Light Fashion Photography

in today’s video I will show you a one light full-body fashion shoot. We will breakdown the full lighting setup, step-by-step, and also covers some major do’s and don’ts. Full body portraits aren’t very difficult, even when shooting at home. Alright so here we are on my computer in Adobe Photoshop but I actually shot this with one single light so when I originally shot this I did make some mistakes and I’m going to specifically talk about the mindset on why I made mistakes when I originally shot this I didn’t understand lighting back in these days.


purchases when it came to lighting equipment so that will be one of the parts in the timestamps below but suffice to say we’re gonna break this video down into four different parts so part one right now is gonna be more introductory what we’re gonna kind of cover part two I’m gonna show you guys the rendering and then kind of explain the lighting setup part I guess section three I will explain more so the mindset on the mistakes that I’ve made and then part four is just gonna be general tips and kind of insight on how you guys can replicate this in your

own way so without further ado let’s kind of going through the introductions so we’re starting here on photography px to show you guys lighting diagrams and lighting setups from start to finish ultimately I want to make sure that you guys if you’re gonna shoot studio photography at home that you’re not making any mistakes that you guys have a lot of tools in your arsenal and part of the reason why we’re gonna be doing this starting now and me kind of deconstructing a lot of the images I’ve taken and I will continue to take is ultimately help you guys when it

comes to replicating these images replicating a lighting setup understanding what you should and should not purchase based on where you live and how much space you have there wasn’t a lot of information on that when I first started which is why we’re gonna cover some of the mistakes that I made one originally shot this image but long story short I’m gonna start breaking down images from start to finish poses things that nature so this is gonna be a full photo deconstruction I do want to say I did make a lighting diagram for this which is gonna be an

application called satellite we have not officially reviewed the application so just just know that I’m using the application and that download for the project file will be in the description below if you want to download the project file and you can kind of play around with these dimensions and you can download the trial for the application but that’s how I’m going to be showcasing the render to guys so this is a one light setup used a 60-inch parabolic softbox I’m going to open up this so I’m gonna open up this basically a QuickTime render just showcasing

you guys showcasing to you what the lighting setup that would be like in my current apartment now when I shot this I used to live in a different location so these dimensions and diagrams are a little bit different from what I used to live but my current apartment now and what this location used to be are virtually similar 26 feet it’s roughly 10 10 to 12 feet wide and this is the setup so I’m gonna walk you guys through the specific settings I’m gonna walk you through the distances I’m gonna walk you through the lighting setup step-by-step here so let’s kind of

go through and we will start addressing some of this I guess I’ll go back into full screen but so I’m gonna get kind of show you guys a full walk around again I will be opening this project file in satellite which is the application that I’m showcasing this diagram here but this is just what it looks like visually as I walk around my entire apartment so again shot this at home 26 feet wide roughly about 12 feet in width and eight foot ceilings that’s very important eight-foot ceilings so you guys can see the lighting dem diagram here at this point I’m going to show you guys

the exact measurements so from the model to the light this distance right here I’m using a measurement tool in this application but this distance right here four-and-a-half feet five feet maybe six feet the distance from her to the background eight to ten feet and then the distance from here to the V flat is about three or four feet and it’s positioned in the program it’s positioned exactly 90 degrees in real life it’s actually a 45-degree angle but the light doesn’t render the reflections in that same way so you have to basically move it differently and angle it

differently and I’m shooting at roughly about ten feet away from here let’s kind of cover the camera settings that I use to replicate this particular image so f 5.6 shutter speed as one one sixtieth ISO 100 now I don’t have the raw image I don’t know where the raw image is so I don’t know exactly what these camera settings are I just remember what light that I used and how I typically use that light which we’ll cover here shortly but those are the camera settings to the best of my knowledge to get the exposure that you guys see in the original the original image

that I brought up earlier at this point I’m going to showcase some of the settings for the light so I’m using a 60 inch or five-foot parabolic umbrella if I go over here on screen you guys would see my mouse this right here the inside of this umbrella this parabolic umbrella is white textured I don’t have a silver one because the silver one is too punchy so the inside of here is actually white there’s a black coating on the outside and then there’s this diffusion cover on top of that and unfortunately with this application you don’t have diffusion covers when it comes

to parabolic umbrellas they don’t exist they don’t have every single modifier they just have them over general ones that are commonly used they don’t have the the parable or the diffusion material but that’s what I’m using so my light is was roughly about five feet high I have eight foot ceilings so basically what I did is I am the light all the way up as high as I can get it and I’m gonna talk about specifically why this is an issue here shortly but that is a problem and in itself but I jammed it all the way into the ceiling because when you’re using such a light love a

large modifier can’t really you can only get so high of 8 foot ceilings and it’s six it’s five stars five feet wide so it’s a very large modifier but it is about five to six feet high and again it’s about five feet away from her and I’m using a 150 watt strobe and it’s set to an output of 150 watts it’s maxed out like every time this thing goes off it is just blasting as much light as it possibly can to get through the umbrella as it bounces back and then get through the diffusion layer and then hit the subject let’s see what else I covered in here specifically again I’m using a 50

millimeter lens and then over here you can see some of the modifiers it’s just a 59 inch it’s a 60 foot I mean 60 inch or 5 feet parabolic umbrella and I’m gonna show you guys really quickly this is the perspective from the model so this is if she’s looking towards camera like I’m looking at camera right now 45 degrees to her left hand side and then you have the the V fell flat which I’ll cover how to make V flats and where to get them at Home Depot and stuff like that I’ll cover that another video but a V flat on this side to reflect and bounce the light back so now that we’ve kind of covered the the lighting setup here step by step let me kind of walk you let’s kind of go into section two right okay so why did I use these elements and what kind of mistakes did I make at this time this is incredibly important I know I’m showcasing how to

reconstruct or deconstruct this particular photo but I wouldn’t encourage you guys actually use this lighting technique unless with the preference that you have greater than 8-foot ceilings ultimately you could use this anyways and I probably will do a video on showcasing how to fix this if you want to use this lighting setup anyways but when you have a 5 foot modifier here well the problem is I can only bring it bring it in terms of height to a maximum of 5 or maybe 6 feet so basically what that means is that the majority of the light is hitting chest and like

midsection of the subject it’s not hitting their face so inevitably what always happens is that the garments and the shirts and blouses and jackets those were always brighter than the person’s face was and then their legs would always be darker that’s not what I wanted I wanted their face to be bright and then there being a natural fall off from the face down downwards so basically what you have to do is you have to fix that in Photoshop and and that’s what I learned through doing this set up over and over again but why I don’t recommend this is because if you

only have eight foot ceilings and you’re using a modifier of this big one you can’t put high enough and then secondly it’s also very inconvenient because it’s very very large if you do not have the space in terms of 12 foot 11 or 12 foot in terms of width it’s not going to be something that’s going to work in a home studio setting now I was seeing a lot of people doing photo D constructions and tutorials where they were using umbrellas of this size that’s why I bought them but in terms of shooting at home it doesn’t actually make any sense now I can I will say you

could you’re welcome to use it anyways knowing that information and you can use it absolutely a very cheap way to do this but know you will need to fix your images in post-production using some kind of dodge and burn or somehow you know with some way to fix the exposure and knowing that it’s going to be it’s gonna be brighter here and dark up here so you will need to fix that and that’s what I was doing I guess another thing where I made a mistake as well ultimately I would say another thing I made a mistake is is that I I didn’t really there’s a couple things

in the beginning I didn’t realize that the the ceiling height and the height of light really made a difference when it comes to lighting the light ideally you want your your light your strobe to be at face level or higher so that that basically as the the center of the light that hotspot is landing on the person’s face typically a rule of thumb is that the modifier should be at chin level the bottom of the modifier that’s kind of and on the model fire how big the modifier is but ultimately I didn’t know that for a very long time so with this modifier again it’s it’s basically

hitting her belly button maybe her lower than that it’s not even getting anywhere close so I would say that’s probably the biggest thing I made a mistake cuz I didn’t know that so ultimately if I would go back and redo this I would use a four foot octo box instead in a replacement of this what also I want to kind of cover I will let me open up this project file in Satellite as well again I will be doing a full review on satellite and I’ll probably do a not really a course but I will show you guys how to use the application I’ll show you guys step by step how to use an

application and we’ll be giving out a bunch of templates and poses and a bunch other stuff for satellite but this is the program satellite version three starter version 2 3d it’s just a free software that you can’t what’s not free it’s like $200 but it you can get a you can get a trial I have a trial version of it right now but and you can basically make your own studio settings so when you guys download if you want to download this project file this is what you’re gonna see you guys won’t see these these timeline shots down here you’ll just see just the main image but

again this is just kind of walking you through the the dimensions and you can see the light is jammed up into the ceiling you can see the distance from me to her without all the distractions when it comes to my couch in my kitchen and all that stuff that’s just making those are just there for for realism so I know when I’m looking at the program and I’m figuring out lights okay like she’s right next to the TV stand she’s like middle of the couch it’s for me it’s mostly for me it’s not necessary for you guys but so that I know where to position people and and position

the lights accordingly such as much easier the measure of things but yeah you guys can download this this project file if you like that would be in the description down below and yeah I mean I hope that kind of helps I guess maybe reason why I’m using a V flat here I didn’t really explain that so I’m using the V flat here because it does light is position 45 degrees onto one side so there’s naturally going to be shadow on this side of the model which I can actually show right now by just disabling this give me one second this is organized in a very different way

let me just click it and delete that okay so you’ll see on this side now that it’s it’s darker shadow compared to over here let me it’s I’m waiting for it to undo but you’ll see those shadows open up I don’t know if you noticed that but yes that’s that’s why I’m using the V flat because if I don’t have the B flat there then all this entire side of her body gets dark and the shadow over here he’s a lot deeper the V flat is there to basically soften the shadow right here and then also fill in the light on on the models right hand side and yeah I’m using the 50 millimeter lens just

because I want a full body shot I didn’t have enough space to shoot with an 85 that was not an option and even now that’s basically not really practical I still use a 50 millimeter lens if I’m gonna use full body I do food a full body at home but yes that kind of wraps up that section I hope you guys enjoy the downloads here I hope that you find value in all of this I hope that this gave you a little bit of insight if you guys want to do the setup at home let me know and send me some images of how you guys are using this in a home studio setting or if you’re just

shooting in a regular studio bombing is just bring the light up and this is a perfect way to shoot full-body with one light it’s incredibly easy but yeah I hope all of that helped a police and I definitely encourage you guys to download the project file I definitely encourage you guys to take notes of the distances that are here again you know this is now in meters but yes 2.4 meters 1 meter 3 meter 1.4 meters I don’t know why it’s in meters right now but anyways I hope that added a lot of value

Photo of author

Devaun Lennox

I'm a fashion, beauty, and commercial photographer turned impromptu photojournalist. Based in Las Vegas, my images are graphic, bold, and full-on contrast.