One Light Low-Key Portrait: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

One Light Low-Key Portrait: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

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This is part four of a four-part series on basic lighting principles. In this episode Mark Wallace puts it all together to create a low-key portrait. Mark uses the position of light, light modifiers, and the effective size of the light to create this look. These techniques can be used in almost any studio to create your own low-key portraits.

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Photos by Mark Wallace
Instagram: @jmarkwallace

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If you have questions, please share them below.

18 thoughts on “One Light Low-Key Portrait: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. Where is the background radial light on the shadow side of the subject coming from? Is it from the key light or reflector?

  2. Mark, I know you did an earlier video on broad & short lighting but can you show how each of these techniques will accentuate certain features and shapes of a subjects face.

  3. Hey Mark! Why do you choose to have a white backdrop if you're trying to get a low-key portrait? Why not just start with a black backdrop? I understand with the inverse square law you can achieve the dark backdrop by positioning your light farther away, but wouldn't it be easier to just start with a black?

  4. why don't you reflect from the front (aka cameradirection ? would be more natural look and with the same effect….

  5. Hey Mark, I got your Light 101 from CreativeLive and I tried to use the back curtain with my flash. I have a Sony A7III, so I turned the e-front curtain, put my flash at 1sec and shake my camera, however I had an abstract painting 🙂 everything was completely blur. My question is, what I did wrong?

  6. Could we learn more about the aperture of the lense and the power settings of the flash used for these shots? thanks.

  7. I have a question. You said you was going to use one light but the lights inside the room was still Shining isn't that cheating even though you dropped the ISO?

  8. Thanks for a great video. I actually like the shot without the reflector a bit better than the one with the reflector. I hope you might consider doing more videos on low-key lighting. I really like the drama created by low-key and film noir.

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