23. Dramatic single light shadows

The results from this single light setup are unbelievable and can even be achieved in a small studio space. We show exactly how to control one light to yield this dramatic and impactful result.


    1. Hi Ashraf, too much light spills out of the sides of the barn doors and due to the physics of light and casting a shadow the light needs to emanate from a point light source. With barn doors they would need to be attached to a standard reflector which stops it being a point light source. Also the further away the point light source is away from the aperture then the better the shadow will be. See chapter 17 of ‘Light Source’ for a further example.

    1. In this case it is a full length shot and not a close up portrait, she is also mostly in profile and the camera is also shooting from low. I wouldn’t recommend this lighting position for a conventional portrait for reasons explained in the ’emotion of light’ chapter.

  1. Yes, this is absolutely brilliant, I could actually see the light being shaped and controlled as if it were a liquid………. very exciting.

  2. do NASA call you when they have some issues with light physics :). thats totally mesmerising and honour to learn from you. thanks for cutting down the prices.

  3. Hi Karl,
    could this be achieved by using a Farnell Light and the use of the barn doors if I had a white walls/Floor studio like in the video? thank you

  4. Brilliant demonstration. Can you tell me, what are the gray color floor brackets you use to support the boards and other larger styrofoam light blocking panels I’ve seen in your other videos?

  5. OMG! Will try it this weekend…
    But one question: How did he decide on the “relative height” of the aperture flags around the light?

  6. One last question on this:
    Url explained it but I didn’t understand what he said for the reasoning:
    He added something to the front of the strobe, what was it and why?

    Because thinking of recessed Profoto heads, I can either use the default recessed head OR I can add the Dome diffuser … But Urs added something hand made to the dome of the Siros..What was he trying to achieve there?


    1. Hi Babak, was it the little piece of diffusion he added you are referring to? if so he added it just to diffuse the light a little to make it a tiny bit more even, the flash tube before any diffusion is a circular tube around the modelling light so would have been patchy but very minimally because no modifiers were being used


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