Dynamic-Energy Lighting

Give your model the freedom to move with this creative setup.

Following on from the previous chapter, Karl demonstrates an alternative four-light studio setup that can be used for full-length portrait images.

The result is a broad, soft, even illumination that allows your model to move freely, meaning you’re free to get as creative as you like. As with the previous chapter, Karl incorporates movement into the shot, explaining the key concepts and things to consider.

In this class:

  • Studio photography: How to shoot portrait images
  • How to shoot creative portraiture using four lights
  • Creative rim lighting studio setup
  • Using reflectors for creative portraiture
  • How to freeze movement with studio flash

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. in final image i have seen double shadow before the model’s legs , and i think this thing is not good in photography, so what should i do to remove it besides photoshop?

    1. Hi Rakshit, you will see double, triple and other forms of multiple shadows regularly in photography. If you look at some of my favourite photographers and go through their work https://visualeducation.com/list-of-inspirational-photographers/ you will see multiple images where there are more than one shadow. The unfortunate fact is that at somepoint someone who didn’t really know a great deal decided they would make a ‘rule’ that said more than one shadow was bad, when in fact it’s not – It’s only bad if it takes away from the image or becomes a distraction from the main hero of the shot or interferes with the message unnecessarily. Unfortunately photographers who think these type of rules are important often have a long way to go with their photography and understanding what really makes a good image. If all photographers followed other dumb rules like ‘you must not put your subject in the centre’………’you must not shoot into the sun’………’you must not shoot with the light behind your subject’…….or ‘you mustn’t have multiple shadows’, then we would have a very limited and uncreative sphere of photography. It’s important to concentrate on the important things to do with the narrative, emotion and message first. If multiple shadows are taking away from that then yes we should do something about it in Photoshop. Should we do something about it at the sacrifice of our lighting. No. Lighting is one of the most important things for conveying emotion so if we need to clean up shadows we don’t destroy our lighting to do it.

  2. Hi Karl

    Did you need to consider the flash power on the jumping shots to freeze the motion or are the Broncolor lights fast at all power levels?

    1. Hi John, the bron lights are including Siros are faster than most even at higher power settings but it is from power setting 5 and below that they achieve the fastest duration, however for this type of jumping shot it doesn’t require the fastest settings. Cheers Karl.

  3. Hi Karl,

    Great tutorial. Question for you. When you were capturing the model jumping in the air, did you set your lens to manual focus? Did you set your focus point to where you believe here body will be in focus the frame and then click the shutter to capture the shot? I want to know how you are able to get her in focus while moving fast.

    Thank you!

  4. Nice setup!! I was going to ask about using two strip boxes for the background. What I love about these modules that my questions get answered in the video. LOL. I see why this style now with the polyboards and bounce light. To create the rim light around the model also. I saw a very similar 4 light setup for a fashion catalogue shoot but with strip boxes on the background but it did not have the rim lighting. I’m thinking of getting a couple of large collapsable backgrounds ( black/white) to substitute for poly boards. My studio is very small.

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