The shape and quality of light used in a portrait can have an extremely profound effect on the overall outcome of the photo. We all know that by now. But, by using some clever light grouping, photographers can sometimes create a few drastically different portraits in a matter of seconds.
The video from Adorama was inspired by a Sports Illustrated shoot from a few years ago where the photographer only had a minute with each athlete and needed to get a few different looks.
The concept is relatively simple, even if the actual execution does take a fair bit of planning. Basically, you arrange your lights into various groups using wireless triggers and by turning different groups on and off, you can customize the look of the lighting.
Personally, it’s not a strategy I would use unless time restrictions and necessity really required it because you’re giving up some control and finesse in exchange for brutal efficiency. But, if nothing else, it’s a nice little demonstration of just how much lighting can make a difference in a portrait.