This photo shoot was inspired by El Uly’s question yesterday about shooting black cars. My answer was light, light, and more light. But is that really the answer? So armed with a black Porsche, the black sky, and a 23w Daylight CFL bulb in an 11-inch diameter clamp light I decided to find out if 1 bulb could do the trick. However, between my failed post last night and now, I don’t remember exactly what I did for each picture. The model is either lit directly, indirectly, or a little bit of both. What I can say based off this little test is I liked the indirectly lit shots the best. Fortunately, digital film is super cheap, so take what you have and experiment until you find what works best for you. I’ll post a few of each, and maybe those of you who know what you’re doing behind the lens can offer your critique. But to answer my own question, 1 light can give some pretty good results, provided you can control your aperture and exposure.

Direct light

f/9 1s exposure. Lit from above and front
f/9 1s exposure. Lit from 3/4 front
This image was lost some time after publication.

f/9 3s exposure. Lit from above

Indirect light

f/9 8s exposure. Light bounced off ceiling.


This image was lost some time after publication.

f/9 20s exposure

f/18 30s exposure