Lighting a Cross-Street Portrait

There’s a lot you can do with a fairly simple lighting setup. In this video, Joe McNally shows how he used a single flash and a bed sheet to light up a shop from across the street:

The setting for McNally’s photo was an old sewing shop on a narrow street in Guanajuato, Mexico. To light his model, he hung a white sheet from the doorway and positioned a light on a C-stand with a mini boom. He projected the bare flash through the sheet from across the one-lane road. The flash was powered by an Elinchrom Ranger RX battery pack and triggered with a PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver from inside the shop.

cross-street-photo-lighting-2

With just one light, the photos of the model and the men sewing was already well-lit, but McNally chose to add a fill light by bouncing a second light into the ceiling. This light was modified with a 1/2 CTO gel to add a little warmth in addition to the warmth gained from the wood in the ceiling.

The result is a natural-looking environmental portrait with soft, diffused light.

cross-street-photo-lighting

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever