42. Poly-board lighting

In this three light setup Karl shows you how to produce great results for portrait or beauty lighting using the simplest of lighting modifiers, in fact the main light used is a piece of white poly-board!

This portrait photography class also demonstrates a more economical alternative to the popular clamshell beauty lighting setup that requires no softbox.

Watch as Karl walks you through the setup, his workflow and camera and lighting settings needed to get this beautiful image. He also shows you how, with just minor changes, it’s possible to further soften indirect light for a lovely flattering look.

In this beauty photography class we cover the following:

  • Beauty photography lighting setup
  • Clamshell lighting alternative
  • Using indirect light
  • How to create soft light
  • Softbox modifications

NOTE: This course is available with English subtitles


  1. Hi Karl, Question on shutter speed with all the lighting chapters I did not know if you kept the max sync speed. I just wanted to know if there was a better place to start with its speed?

    1. Hi Edward, I’d always shoot at the maximum sync speed simply to block out your modelling lights. If you are shooting wide aperture you may need to turn the modelling light off.

  2. Very interesting results using the reflector and without. The physics makes sense the soft box look and beauty dish style look along with the handling of the background lighting. Something to add to my setups. Great session!!


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