Jill Greenberg lighting setup and lighting diagram

David Bicho’s tribute to Jill Greenberg, using her characteristic lighting setup.
Lighting diagram explaining the Jill Greenberg lighting setup

This image is a pure tribute to the classic crying-images by Jill Greenberg. This is really showing the crisp and contrasty light of the beloved Profoto Giant (the huge umbrella). From the back, I use two strip lights and a hair light on a boom stand to create a “kicker” all around her silhouette. One gridded light on the black background (turns blue when white balancing to get nice skin tones). Just below the model there is a squared silver reflector (I hate round ones!) to give the classic extra lower clam-shellish-spark to the eye to give some feeling of “wet eyes”… To eliminate all unwanted indirect lightning, I used big black book ends to really push the contrast by lowering the levels in the shadows.

Visit photographer David Bicho for more great inspiration.

Lighting setup using natural light and silver reflector

This is a photo portrait of the swedish professional dancer Karl Dyall. The lighting setup is very simple. The model is standing next to a big window which is about 4 feet from him on the right hand side. On the left hand side stands a silver reflector about 2 feet away. It was cloudy that day, so the light is very soft.  As many of you know is the Canon EF 50/1.8 II bokeh a bit stressful, so the warm light in the background is not as smooth as I would like it.

Natural light photography

When you practice natural light photography, keep in mind that the constant light from a silver reflector can be annoying for the model if the light is too intense. It makes it difficult for the model to keep a certain facial expression, and the whole workflow for the session will be affected.

If the light from the window would have been more intense that day, or if it had been an outdoor session a sunny day, I would probably have used a white reflector instead of a silver reflector.

Portrait lighting diagram with natural light and reflector