Skip to main content

A simple and effective setup for dramatic one-light portraits

Dramatic One Light Set up
Not every professional photo needs to be expertly lit with three, four, five, or more lights. In fact, you can get amazing, high-quality results with just one light. The key, as with many things in photography, is simply understanding how to use the one light to your advantage in order to produce the best results.

Photographer Aaron Anderson posted a video on his YouTube channel detailing how to set up one light for dramatic portraits that can be reproduced virtually anywhere with consistent results. Anyone with a camera and a light could set up a similar kit to the one shown and be well on their way to creating dramatic portraits in no time.

Anderson goes through the entire process, from what gear he has set up, to why he chose it. After explaining the equipment, Anderson jumps right into how to position the light to create that dramatic look with minimal effort needed.

The purpose of this particular setup, as Anderson puts it, is to create a beautiful soft strip of light down the middle of the subject’s face, while retaining soft and even shadows on the sides of the head. This is a popular look for executives and other individuals needing headshots who prefer a darker, more dramatic look.

This could easily be reproduced with a Speedlight (or flash, for those who prefer that term), some foam core, and a cheap Speedlight softbox. If you have been looking to learn more about lighting or just want to be able to take better photos of your friends and family, then this is a great step toward better understanding light and how to work with it.

You can learn more from Anderson over on his YouTube channel, here.

Anthony Thurston
Anthony is an internationally published photographer based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Specializing primarily in…
New Leica Lux app turns your iPhone into a Leica (sort of)
The Leica LUX app for the iPhone.

If you’ve always coveted a Leica camera, but don’t have the absurd amount of money required to buy one, then perhaps you can make do with camera maker’s new Leica Lux app instead.

Currently only available for the iPhone, the Leica Lux app promises an experience about as close to a Leica as you can get without actually owning one.

Read more
Best GoPro deals: Save on action cameras and accessories
Prime Day 2022 GoPro deals graphic.

Action cameras are great for recording your active lifestyle; whether it's tracking through a mountain range or skiing down a slope, they can keep up with even the most strenuous activity. Of course, one of the best action camera brands is GoPro, and there are a lot of options you can pick from within its lineup, with a lot of great deals on the base camera and other accessories, of which we've collected our favorites below. You could also check out these drone deals to give you another cool perspective, or if you don't want to grab a GoPro, these camera deals might be good for you instead.
Best GoPro camera deals
GoPro HERO9 Black (open box) -- As low as $156

The GoPro HERO9 Black is a bit of an older GoPro at this point, but that certainly doesn't mean that it's geriatric, and the older age means you can get it for a lot cheaper. It has a large front screen for you to work with, and it can take 27MP stills, although the 5k video recording is a little bit pointless on a model like this. It has a larger battery, which is nice, and if you're okay with going for a refurbished or open-box version, then you can save a little cash.

Read more
Hurry! The GoPro Hero12 has a $100 price cut at beat buy
GoPro HERO12 offers waterproof use.

There are a lot of action cameras on the market, but one of the best and most well-known is the GoPro, so if you want something that can handle your active lifestyle, a GoPro is a great option. That said, GoPro cameras can be quite expensive, which is why you'll likely want to grab a deal on one to save you a little bit extra. Luckily, this GoPro Hero12 has a great deal on it from Best Buy that discounts it down to $300 from $400, saving you a solid $100, which is a nice discount.

Why you should buy the GoPro Hero12
One of the most important parts of any action camera is its video quality, and you'll be happy to know that the Hero12 can manage a whopping 5k at 60fps, which is pretty impressive for something so small. If you need more frames, you could go for the equally impressive 4K at 120fps, which is still quite impressive, and you could even go as fast as 240fps at 2.7K, so you have a lot of options when it comes to resolutions and framerates that work best for you. Another big positive is that the Hero12 has a pretty large field of view and can capture an aspect ratio of 8:7, which is pretty massive, all things considered.

Read more