Welcome to the live series we’re doing bi-monthly on Profoto’s Instagram called “Slice of Pye”. We’ll be covering a myriad of topics and showcasing a ton of Profoto gear in action over the course of the next year so please join us over on IG Live!
Tune in to our next episode: August 14th at 2PM PST!
In this episode, we work through a simple and less common two light pattern that’s great for stylized couples portraiture, and double exposure effects. Watch the full episode here:
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- Profoto A1 (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Manfrotto Air Cushioned Stand (B&H | Amazon | Adorama)
- Profoto A1 Grids
- Profoto Corrective Gels
Step One: Cut the Ambient Light
If you’ve been watching Slice of Pye, you’ll notice a common theme when it comes to our desired camera settings before we start setting up and positioning our lights. We like to cut out the ambient light to show you how simple it is to completely transform a scene. For this technique, it is important to place your subjects against a dark background so that they remain the focus of the image. Anything that is too bright could distract from the lights we place onto them in just a minute.
Step Two: Place Lights Behind Subjects At an Angle
Typically, couples portraits follow a common light pattern that places the light 45 degrees to the couple. This will yield pleasant shadows but still give the light a bit of direction without it looking too flat. The two-light Hollywood pattern plays off of this idea by placing the lights behind the couple at the same angle and illuminating their faces from the opposite sides. You can see in the image above the difference made from our first shot (left image), where we have one Profoto A1 camera right angled towards Max and to the next shot (right image), with a second Profoto A1 camera left angled towards Abi.
Step Three: Add Grid for more Control
After cutting down our ambient light and darkening our scene we have now added in two flashes that are creating a spot of brightness after reflecting off of our subjects and our background. To control our light even more. we placed grids on both of the flashes to pin the light onto our subjects’ faces. You can see the difference it makes in the image above.
Step Four: Play with Color and Gels
Although this technique is pretty much mastered with the above steps, you can take it one step further to create a more dynamic and interesting shot. By simply placing one gel onto one of our flashes (camera left) you can create a juxtaposition in color
Bonus Step: Create a Double Exposure
You can see how we paired this lighting technique with a simple frame of an underground street to create the image above in our new advanced off-camera course – Lighting 3!