Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

This is a simple headshot I made last night while teaching. And while this is not going to win any prizes, it’s a competent head shot and one that’s easy to make using a fun trick.

What do you think the background is? It’s a strobe inside a large soft box. Make the big soft box the background, set your camera to manual, expose for the main light at anywhere between 1.5 and two stops off the background and you get a blown out background with a properly exposed subject.

In this case, the camera was set to ISO 100, using 1/125 second shutter speed, f/5.6 – we metered the main light at 5.6 and the background at f/8 which caused it to blow out. The amount of space needed to do this was about 50 square feet.

I used a remote trigger to fire the flashes. There was also a little fill reflector on the opposite side of the main light. It’s simple, quick, effective and produces reliable results. Try it.


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