Saturday, June 30, 2012

Simplify Your Lighting

By William A. Sawalich, Photography By Martin Wonnacott And Scott Markewitz Published in Photography Lighting
Simplify Your Lighting

"He wants to create something simple and beautiful," she adds. "That's his internal sensibility. And he doesn't need a whole lot in order to achieve that."

Togashi certainly doesn't use simple lighting to settle for plain images; his photographs are gorgeous and sumptuous—and the product of only a couple of lights. He doesn't sacrifice shape or line, texture or detail. Neither does Markewitz compromise his approach with limited gear. He can create separation with a single kicker or enhance texture with a light positioned just so. Wonnacott and Resnick clearly aren't afraid to strip down to a minimal kit to achieve a maximum effect, and these are world-class photographers shooting with big budgets and practically limitless lighting resources. If they can do it, why can't you?

The next time you feel like you just can't pull off a good shot without additional lights, think back to some of the most beautiful illumination you've ever seen. Chances are good that it came from a single, ever-present source: the sun. And then remember that age-old adage, priceless advice for all of life's difficult situations: Keep it simple, stupid.

William A. Sawalich is a frequent contributor to DPP. In addition to being an accomplished professional photographer, he's an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. See more of his work at
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