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Using Three or More Lights

Adding a third light to your portrait setup allows you to add more separation between the subject and background. This light could be some natural light coming in through a window or door, or it could a Speedlight or two. Adding a Speedlight behind the subject aimed at the background allows you to control the light on the background and the color of the background. On a solid black background, a Speedlight with a red gel adds a touch of color. In Figure 12.25, the red gel changes the background’s color and adds some illumination to the whole scene.

Figure 12.25

Figure 12.25 The main light is in a softbox, a reflector opens up the shadows, and a second flash acts as an accent light on the hair. A red gel over a third Speedlight now colors the background taking it from black to a dark red.

NIKON D4 ISO 100 1/250 SEC. F/4.5

Figure 12.26 shows the lighting diagram used for Figure 12.25 and the placement of the three Speedlights and the reflector. As you can see, it started out as a butterfly lighting pattern, and then I added the two additional Speedlights.

Figure 12.26

Figure 12.26 The lighting diagram for the portrait in Figure 12.25 shows the three Speedlights and reflector.

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