Within minutes, I made three different pictures today during the class I taught at Sheridan College. I wanted my students to see how simple it was to do various portrait lighting types.
A traditional portrait with key light, fill light, hairlight (“Shampooey Goodness”), and background light looks like this (made with four flashes):
Key light on our right through an umbrella; fill light on our left, two stops lower; hair light behind left, shining forward; and background light bright on the background from behind the subject. to blow out the background completely.
So now the opposite: one with just the key light, off to the right, unmodified except for a grid:
And a hybrid: same settings but I turned on the projector behind the subject with a previous picture. A picture within a picture, as it were:
All these were made at 1/125 sec at f/8, ISO400.
Simple setups can make interesting pictures. What can you do with simple light?