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. What is the difference in effect between the 2 blackboards (Aperture) and a barn door??

    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.

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

  3. 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.


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