One light, One hour


The title says it all.


Today I was with my neighbor/friend/photographer/awesome photo assistant Hunter Zieske, and we decided to kill an hour(ish) trying to see how many quick and simple lighting set ups were possible with a single light and modifier. I decided to do this quick blog post to show how it went. Some worked better than others, but all are usable depending on the situation or particular shoot. 

The goal was not to make portfolio level images. The goal was to experiment for future reference when circumstances only allow a small time frame and minimal gear, which is very often. When you're on a job, efficiency is key, and a portable one-light set up is a must have for any working photographer. Hopefully this can serve as a reference and show that using one light doesn't have to be boring or limiting.




  • Profoto Pro 7B pack & head (Discontinued, can find them on ebay/B&H used)
  • Photek Softligher II 46'' 
  • Silver & White reflectors
  • Black V-Flat (See how to make them here)
  • Canvas Backdrop


Minus the V-Flat, all of this stuff can be packed up and taken with me at a moments notice. Often times the luxury of shooting in a comfortable and well equipped studio is not an option.  On location, any wall or textured surface can be used as a backdrop, or shoot wider and use the environment as your background. Your choice. The take away from this is to act on your feet while considering your options. There's no reason you can't get a good image with the equipment you already have. 

Below are the results from our experiment. I will let the photos and behind the scenes do all of the explaining from here. None of the photos were opened in Photoshop or retouched in anyway other than minor color and contrast adjustments in Capture One 9.


Until next time!