We photographers can’t get enough of our gear. If you’re anything like me, you undoubtedly have a nook (or a basement) somewhere that’s crammed full of lenses, lights, filters, and other photographic accessories. The fact is that we don’t need a tonne of costly gear to generate spectacular results, and in my most recent video, I will demonstrate how to create portraits in the style of Rembrandt with just one flash from an off-brand and a little modifier.

In order to illustrate this lesson, I made use of a Joe McNally 24″ Ezybox, a Yongnuo transmitter, and a Yongnuo Speedlite for Canon cameras. Because I was standing just a few feet in front of the white rear wall of my studio when I took the images, the white wall came out looking grey in the pictures, and I didn’t even need to use a piece of grey paper as a backdrop.

In the video, I also explain how shifting your subject’s head to the left or right can generate a whole new appearance without requiring you to change the modifier. This can be done by just turning the head of your subject.

When I was just starting out, the idea of learning how to use studio lighting to make portraits was so daunting that it made me feel completely over my head. Because there are so many different possibilities, including modifiers, strobes, continuous lights, mounting systems, and more, it was really complicated to choose which one to use, so I decided to use an off-camera flash and explore with that first before investing in any pricey strobes.

I believe that a good number of us start off in the same manner, which means that there is a good probability that you already have at least part of this gear laying about in your gear cemetery, waiting to be tried out. I really hope you all like the video!

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Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features

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