#05: Shadow games

When you think about image design and lines of sight, it’s easy to overlook light and posing. But it doesn’t have to be hard…

Nikon D800, 85mm f1.8 @f9, ISO 100, 1/200s


This set was super-fast to establish.

It required a normal reflector for the hard light from the front and a second one with a color foil for the background.

Posing the model took a while: the lamp had to be angled properly and then the camera position and the model’s arm needed to be adjusted until the diamond of light around the eye appeared on the face.

After 15 minutes, the shoot was done-and-dusted.

The background color was adjusted slightly in Photoshop to create a complementary contrast to the skin tone.


  • 2x normal reflectors with 500Ws monoblocks
  • 1x color foil in dark green (optional)

Individual light sources

Main light

The main light is to the right of the camera. I had to be careful to leave one half of the model’s face in the shade to maintain the effect of the rhombus of light. The shadow on the model’s upper arm, forehead, cheeks, and forearm are all on the same plane, where the light falls off.


It’s always good to have some extra light in the background. Here was no exception.

We’ve given the model a visible outline and the head has some depth. At the same time, the color boosts the model’s skin tone.


For the pictures in the article we used the light simulation “Set.A.Light 3D”. You can download the lighting setup and try everything for yourself.

If you’ve never worked with Set.a.Light before, you should give it a try!

There is also a free demo version on the website, which you can use to open our set.

all setups

Recommendations from the Pros


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