24. The softest single light possible

Learn how to create the softest single light setup possible in this informative chapter where we create completely shadowless lighting results.


  1. Im now starting a new game but instead of Where’s Waldo its called Where’s Ben 🙂
    Nice lighting thanks again!!

  2. Hi Karl,

    At what power is the light ? is it at his max power ? the logical answer will be that it depends on the studio size but i just want to be sure.

    1. yes the power would depend on how far away the wall is to the model, Karl will always just take a test shot with his desired aperture and use roughly half the power of what ever light he is using e.g scoro or siros see what it looks like and adjust it from there, there is no set amount, it all depends on how it looks on the back of your camera or screen

    2. Hi Ziv, you are correct with the logical answer or also which aperture you decide to shoot with and then you simply adjust the power to suit that. See my chapter on ‘measuring light’ in this course.

  3. I use bounce light technique. Its a great light setup to create beautiful soft light on a subject. Easy to do also. Great tutorial.

  4. This is friggin awesome Karl! Love the effect, and with just one light too!
    Evie is quite a trooper, I got to admit.
    I kinda like the black stripe reflection of Urs in her eyes. Gives her a bit of a cat-eye look.

    By the way, I noticed how you mostly shoot slightly from above. Is there a specific reason for that?

    1. Yes it’s a great simple and effective setup. Even though I’m short I still try to get elevation on a step or ladder to be slightly above eyeline or at least eyeline with the model. You generally don’t want to be looking up at the model unless you are shooting a full length wide angle dramatic shot (as you will see in many of the jumping/falling model shots). When it is more of a portrait looking down on the model makes them look a bit more innocent and wide eyed as the gaze/eyes have to open up to view you from above. There is also the aesthetic of looking down from the forehead through the eyes, nose to chin rather than from the chin up the nostrils etc. Also the closest part to the camera will appear bigger so it’s more flattering to have the forehead and eyes bigger.

  5. Karl, Urs. Since practically you shot in a “large softbox” how does the shutter speed affect overall? I saw you were in 1/160 sec. Would something change if you used a lower/upper speed? I can’t figure out how much the lightbulb affected the model directly and how indirectly. Something tells me that it would make no difference, but just asking to be sure. Thanks!

  6. Was that Stifanny’s hair? Lucky she doesn’t get jealous!

    I’ve got floor to ceiling windows down one side of my studio and a dark carpeted floor. I guess white sheets over them would do the job?

    1. Hi Kevin yes that would as long as they are not too opaque. If the sun comes directly through then you could stick diffusion rolls in front as in this example https://www.karltayloreducation.com/course_video_page/indoor-photography-part-1/ However that would be creating a giant soft-box which would give a nice light from the side or behind you but it wont be quite the same as bouncing a point light source from inside your ‘white box’ which will yield different qualities because of the inverse square law. If what you meant was put thick white cloth over the windows so you could bounce the light from the inside then yes that would be perfect.

  7. Hi Karl and tx for this so easy and flatering light. I also like yhe retouching of the final picture. would you show us how you retouch it and with wich software? Camera Raw? Lightroom? Any preset or effect? Thanks again for… sharing. This is so great 😉

    1. Hi Fred, I don’t remember there being any retouching on this shot. We have lots of easy to follow tutorials on retouching in our ‘post production’ section. Cheers Karl.

  8. Hi, Karl.. Its an eye opening setup for me. .
    Sometime I do family shoots at clients place. Is this setup ok at there place for family shoots with one white background in front of single light.


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