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NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Set up the flash

Place your light a few feet away from the cam­era, aimed to­wards the right of the frame. It doesn’t mat­ter what kind of light source you use; we’re us­ing a sin­gle Speed­light which is be­ing fired into asil­ver um­brella for dif­fuse light­ing. We set our Speed­light to ¼ power.

2 Re­main in the dark

The back­ground needs to be dark to make the model’s face stand out. Putting our model, Jen­nifer, in front of a white wooden back­drop would re­duce the ef­fect of the white high­lights around the edge of her face when pos­ing. We’ve used a black fabric back­drop, in­stead.

3 Po­si­tion your model

Ask your model to stand di­rectly in front of the light, look­ing into it. To get that side-lit ef­fect, have them take a step or two to­wards the cam­era. We got Jen­nifer to move ap­prox­i­mately three feet from the soft­box to harden the light on the pro­file of her face.

4 Add a flag

To stop the light from spilling onto our back­ground, we’re us­ing a flag set up be­tween the light and the back­drop. A sim­ple piece of black card is suf­fi­cient to block the light from the cam­era, just make sure it’s not re­flec­tive on the other side or it may throw light onto the back­drop.

5 Work in man­ual

With the model in place, set the cam­era to man­ual mode, dial in the flash sync speed (1/200sec in our case) and an ISO of 100. We also set an aper­ture of f/5.6, which en­sured crisp fo­cus from the model’s nose to the back of her head with our 70-200mm lens.

6 Wrap the light

You can now vary the qual­ity of the light with­out hav­ing to change a thing. Move your model back to­wards the light and you’ll no­tice the light wraps around more of their face. By mov­ing the model to­wards the cam­era, away from the light, you’ll get a harder edge to the pro­file.

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