Day three of my personal portrait challenge: 30 days of journaling my creative process in order to inspire growth and creativity.

Yesterday, I worked with a softbox to create a very simple portrait setup. Today, I am going to continue working with my softbox but add a second light to illuminate the background only.

I wanted a very small beam of light right behind my daughter’s shoulders. In order to do this, I ended up trying out a couple modifiers.

At first, I used my Canon speedlite with a grid spot attached. This gave a very wide and rectangular light shape that I did not care for.

I decided to try zooming in my flash to 105 for a narrower light beam. This still left a very large light shape. After that, I used my Alienbee strobe with barn doors and 20 degree grid attached. This still left a very large light shape behind her.

I replaced the barn doors with a 10-degree grid spot attached to my strobe’s silver reflector, not to be confused with the round, silver reflector that is used to reflect light, with the power turned down very low.

I then placed a silver reflector, not to be confused with a silver reflector attachment for your strobe light, across from the softbox.

At this point, I need to say to whoever named these items, “Really, in a whole world of languages and words there was no different names to be had for these two totally different items then silver reflectors?”

Here are the resulting images.

After that, I placed a reflector behind her to reflect some of the light from the softbox back toward her.

Here is a pull back of that setup.

I then flipped the reflector over so that the black side was facing my daughter’s back. This caused her back to fall into darker shadows.


This is the same setup as above but I turned off the grid spot on the background.

Here is a side by side view comparison of the grid spot in use to light up the background.

I plan on experimenting more with my softbox this weekend.

I would love for you to jump on the portrait challenge wagon with me and see your own process to creating images.

Go get inspired and create something new!

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