Tony here and I'll try to be brief this week as I discuss a topic I love to speak on. I wanted to discuss the power of one light. One light portraits have been successfully created by photographers for many many years. The great Irving Penn is a perfect example. He showed that one, well-placed source of illumination can offer drama, depth, and dimension. There are times that the one single light is actually secondary to it's sidekick, the shadow.
Cinematographers have often shown that it is the shadows that are as important, if not more important than the light in creating a mood, feel, evoking an emotion or setting the scene. For decades we have had great examples in art and cinema of a strong single-directional light from a window in a beautiful portrait, a streetlamp in an old black and white movie, and many of the most well known photographs of all time.
Last weekend in Dallas, using only one light in a setup similar to one I had seen from my friend Russ Harrington, a very well-known music photographer from Nashville, I pulled off what I really think is a wonderful use of a single light. 6' X 6' silk fabric from Westcott on a Scrim Jim Frame provided the combination background/light source for this image.
The below are a few other one light examples that just work. Hopefully they might inspire you to try something and determine how you want your work to appear, how you might increase your awareness, or possibly try something out of your comfort zone.