Cross Lighting Portraits BTS: Big and Small Flash

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 27, 2016

Category: Photography

One of the classes I presented out in Las Vegas at Photoshop World was titled Bringing Portraits to Life with Photoshop and Lightroom; a class which initially was set to be all about a retouching workflow I have for giving portraits increased depth and dimensions so that they almost appear to be coming forward of the screen / print. However, I thought I’d mix things up a little and so included a LIVE SHOOT too.

Glyn Dewis Class at Photoshop World Las Vegas

During the LIVE SHOOT I showed how to easily use Cross Lighting to create two very different portraits with two very different lights and modifiers; here’s the results:

Glyn Dewis Cross Lighting Portraits from Photoshop World 2016

Set Up 1: BIG Flash
Now as for the lighting set up here first is how I photographed Yvette who was attending Photoshop World and kindly volunteered to model for me during this session…

Glyn Dewis Cross Lighting Portraits from Photoshop World 2016

For this set up in addition to the grey seamless background I used:

  • Elinchrom ELB 400 (Quadra) – LINK
  • Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa 100cm (first time I’ve used this modifier and now absolutely LOVE IT!) – LINK

Glyn Dewis Lighting Diagram showing Cross Lighting with Elinchrom

Here’s the Before/After showing the final image with a little bit of retouching including adding a little bit of texture onto the grey seamless background to give it that faux Oliphant Painted Canvas kind of look…

Glyn Dewis Cross Lighting Portraits from Photoshop World 2016

Set Up 2: Small Flash
For this second set up I went with Small Flash using what is typically in my Anytime Anywhere Portrait Kit that I’ve mentioned before…

Glyn Dewis Cross Lighting Portraits from Photoshop World 2016

For this set up I used the following gear but getting model (my buddy J.R. Maddox) to hold the flash himself so no need for a light stand:

  • Phottix Mitros+ Flash – LINK
  • Phottix Odin II Trigger – LINK
  • Rogue Flashbender 2 XL Pro – LINK

Glyn Dewis Lighting Diagram showing Cross Lighting with Phottix

Here’s the Before/After showing the final image after going through my increased depth and dimension workflow working on building up layers of Light, Contrast and Sharpness and then adding a little of the Cartoon/Painterly look to give the skin added texture.

Actually as a side note, and to keep you updated, I’m currently working on a new full length tutorial where in addition to the photograph I also go through the complete retouching steps for my black and white portraits.

Glyn Dewis Cross Lighting Portraits from Photoshop World 2016

For the background with this picture I used my Invisible Black Background technique so as not to see anything distracting in the room such as lights, furniture and attendees but should you want to see some of the background coming through as in this picture of Steven Cook for example it’s just a matter of dragging the shutter (slowing the shutter speed)

Glyn Dewis Black and White Portrait of Boxer Steven Cook

Hope this is useful to you so to finish off here’s a few reminder videos covering some of the techniques here and as always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Catch you next time,
Glyn

 

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