New Portrait and Behind the Scenes with the Westcott Rapidbox Switch

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: October 30, 2018

Category: Photography

Having shared a new portrait a couple of days ago on social media I thought I’d follow up with a post giving a look Behind the Scenes at the lighting set up.

The photo shoot was with my friend Barry King; himself a great photographer who just happens to live fairly local to myself (just can’t believe we’ve not got together until now).

If you’ve followed my work for a while now you’ll know that I favour using just one light but for this portrait I fancied experimenting just a little by adding in an additional light in the form of a strip box as you can see below…

Westcott, Glyn Dewis

So the idea here was to light Barry using my one light set up with a light to the front and side to give the Rembrandt lighting style. For this I used the Westcott Rapid Box Switch Beauty Dish (the Joel Grimes model); a great modifier that is not only extremely well built, but can be set up extremely quickly (hence the name Rapid Box) and used with pretty much every other studio light on the market and speedlight by using an adaptor.

With this light in place giving light on one side of Barry’s face and shadow on the other except for a triangular pattern of light on his cheek (see picture A below) I then added in the 2nd light; a 1 x 3 Westcott Rapid Box Strip Box positioned horizontal to the ground, above and slightly back of Barry so that the light fell onto his head and shoulders.


You can see the result of the lighting using one light (A) and then with the additional Strip Box (B) which lifts Barry by adding a little bit of light to his head / hair and shoulders. Because of the positioning of Strip Box you can see between A and B that exposure on Barry’s face and arms remained the same between both set ups so mixing the two light together was just a matter of metering each independently.

Westcott Rapid Box

Some folks on Instagram asked if the background was also lit but it’s actually just the pattern. Oh and this was a material background Barry purchased from Amazon, for I believe he said £25. Must admit I’m well impressed with the look I think I’ll be heading over to Amazon as soon as I finish this post.

For those interested, here’s the camera kit and settings I used:

  • F/4.0
  • 1/60 sec
  • ISO 100

Here’s the final retouched portrait edited in Lightroom and Photoshop and colourised using a combination of my Look Up Tables…

Westcott Glyn Dewis

As always if you have any questions / comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below.


In the very near future I’m going to be recording a full length tutorial for this style of portrait including the kit used used, set up, photo shoot and retouching PLUS how to create a similar look using speedlights so if there’s anything else you’d like me to include in there then let me know in the comments section…thanks

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  1. Mark

    Brilliant Glynn, the outcome is sublime. Thanks for all of the information. I’ll definitely give it a go. So just to confirm, both lights were independently metered at F/4.0 is that correct?



    • Glyn

      Hi Mark

      Thanks for the kind words. Re the light output, yes mate…pretty much the same for both.


  2. Darcy Brown

    Thanks for this Glyn, nice use of the strip box which adds key spearation. It’s difficult to judge the position/angle though would have loved to see the side view for the position of the stripbox in relation to Barry. It looks from the photos like it would throw light forward onto his arms/head and with no grid to limit the throw, how did you ensure it remained just on the parts you wanted? Great work as always,

    • Glyn

      Hi Darcy

      Yeah sorry I couldn’t give a side view to show the angle but we were in a very tight space…the light stands were pretty much against the walls on either side. If it helps…the strip box was just off being straight to the ground (i.e. angled very slightly towards camera…but ever so slightly) and in line with the back of the chair as opposed to directly above.


  3. Anthony

    Great image mate and thanks for sharing the lighting set up. I was trying to reverse engineer it! Like others I thought you’d lit the backdrop.
    Looking forward to the tutorial

  4. John Middleham

    Hey Glyn. Great stuff as usual. Being trying for a while to get Westcott Joel grimes dish in uk but to no avail. Tried the big online stores to be told only place to get one is direct from Westcott. With tax and postage price is ridiculous. Just wondered if you knew were to get one. Regards John.


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