Twilight and One Light

I’m pretty surprised by the reaction to these images from the “Twilight: New Moon” Junket.  These have instantly jumped to the most viewed images I’ve ever taken.  I’m assuming the popularity of the movie has a little to do with it-- but maybe it’s also because the shot is attractive.  At least that’s what the artist in me is hoping.  

So let’s discuss just how easy this kind of shot is to achieve.



That’s the secret here-- spread the light.  What am I talking about?

Well let’s break it down-- there’s a key light-- which is an SB-900-- up and to the left, and, well, that’s it. 

Really?  Just one strobe?

Yeah, but I’m taking that small strobe and making the light huge look huge with a Lastolite tri-grip.

So what the heck is that?  Does it come with mustard?

No-- I’m talking about these things.. And the specific one I use is a transparent, or shoot through.  

So what I’m doing is putting this tri-grip between the small strobe and the subject.  And it takes that pinpoint light and makes it big and soft, eliminating the harsh shadows that normally scream “STROBE!”

It’s the same basic principle as my “Three Strobes and a Bed Sheet” blog-- but with a more portable-- not to mention more attractive and professional looking-- diffuser.

Anything Else?


Well, yeah, actually-- you need really attractive Hollywood stars.  No, just kidding.  

You’ve gotta get the light off the camera.  That’s an essential element to take this type of photograph.  Straight on lighting looks like a snapshot.  Move the light around-- find a sweet spot.  Up and right or left is usually a sure-fire starting point.  Above-- Samantha is turning into the light, while Taylor is getting a really nice soft shadow across his face.

Settings-- Not much to brag about.  1/320 shutter speed is pretty much obliterating any existing room light-- and there’s bright sun just beyond the glass windows, while f/10 is allowing plenty of depth-of-field to make certain both people are in focus.  I shoot manual mode, but that really doesn’t matter here. 

The secret to this shot is get the light off the camera, and spread it around.

It’s pretty amazing when you consider all of these shots were made with only a single strobe.



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