Using one light source to create wrap around light EFFECTIVELY

Posted by Bryan Dunn on


Wrap around light is a special effect that can do the job of two lights. In other words, a wrap around light can offer the illumination of two lights on the object. As per the conventional system, a photographer might need multiple lights (at least two lights) to create this wrap around light effect. However, the truth is that such effect can be made using a single light.

Place the light inside the light modifier. Then, place it in front of the subject. The light must be slightly above the camera level. You should adjust the light modifier to an angle that appears flat against the subject.
The light modifier should be larger than the subject you are going to capture. That means, for an object like regular sized fruit, you may use a 24” softbox. A modifier like seven foot umbrella will be the right size when it comes to photographing a person.
Then, you will need to meter the subject to the flash output. After that, you will have to meter on the camera to the ambient light. After metering for the ambient light, you should underexpose it a little.
You may use a tripod if the shutter speed is too slow. If not, you can increase the ISO and re-meter to the flash.
However, if you don’t want to increase the ISO anymore, using a tripod is compulsory.

When the flash and strobe works together (to make the exposure), the aperture will determine the output exposure of the flash. However, the shutter speed will determine the ambient and ISO has the overall light sensitivity of the scene. If the light covers and wraps the subject and there is a properly exposed ambient light, creating a wrap around light effect is possible with a single light source.

If the above process is too complex, you may place the light on a side of the subject and place the subject closer to a wall. Then, make the light bounces off the wall and provide necessary illumination.

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