Nice LIttle Portrait Lighting Tutorial

While Googling around for some info on Dean Collins, I ran across this web page from Canadian photographer Dave Montizambert who had benefitted from Collins' teaching.

He has a cool lighting tutorial from a one-light portrait session that gets into some lighting theory. This is especially relevant to Collins, because Collins studied in Europe at one of those "old school" schools where they only let him play with one light until he could do darn-near anything with it.

There are many, many shooters around the world who are consciously (or subconsciously) using techniques Collins taught them many years ago.

Styles change, but a good foundation in lighting theory lets you easily adapt to the new looks.

Click on either pic for a 10-minute diversion from a photographer who has a good grasp of the lighting basics.

(Thanks to reader Dominique for the tip on the photog's complete name!)


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Blogger Jon Thornton said...

Absolutely amazing. I would not have thought that one light could be controlled to such a great extent.

August 24, 2006 5:30 AM  
Blogger David said...

Oh yeah? Well then you guys are gonna go buck wild when you view these Collins DVD's.

August 24, 2006 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Dominique said...

You certainly did not give Dave Montizambert any credit did you.

August 24, 2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger David said...


I sure didn't...

I could not find the guy's first name, and wondered if perhaps the one-word name he uses (which I now know to be his last name) might have been an amalgam of "Monty" and "Zambert," or something.

Thanks to your info, we now have both a name and a linked website!


August 24, 2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger dave jackson said...

I can not tell you how wonderful it is to see David educating the photogs about Dean Collins. I too have burnt up my old VHS tapes. However my wife ordered the DVD back in June for my birthday and they just arrived. I 'll be checking them out this weekend.
Did you know Dean was colorblind? How incredible it is that he was able to change so many peoples perception and awareness of light.
A little over two and a half years ago I had signed up for Deans seminar at WPPI. Unfortunatly Dean passed away . I had planned to return home early but Tony Corbell decided to have a memorial for Dean. It was a very emotional event, so many people loved Dean. As David said, many photographers owe Dean Collins so much. I only hope that in a time of auto everything, that more photographers take the time to study the lessons he left behind.

August 24, 2006 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Dominique said...


As soon as I saw the name Montizambert I figured it must have been him, and low and behold the link proved it. Dave is very highly regarded in these parts (I'm from Vancouver) as a skilled and resourceful shooter.

August 25, 2006 12:15 AM  
Blogger Kevin Yong said...

Thanks for the link. Great tuturial... good inspiration for being creative with a simple setup.

August 25, 2006 3:52 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Stunning article, thanks for passing it on. All that with one light, I have sooooooooo much to learn... (as I impatiently await by DVD too)

August 25, 2006 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Shawn said...

Funny you should mention this guy. I JUST bought his book, Creative Lighting Techniques! I knew I recognized the image of the woman you posted--it's on the cover of his book too!


August 26, 2006 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

The last [punch] line is the greatest, though:

However I must say it is a lot easier with Chimera light panels and a Whitelightning X1600 strobe head and my clients don’t think they have shown up on laundry day.


August 19, 2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Viddy said...

So I read your post and clicked on the links and read those as well. Thank you. I get so tired of talking to other photographers who insist on fancy lighting setups and using only high-end gear to do photography.

I admit that I prefer a less is better approach to photography and after checking out this technique I am looking forward to trying it myself.

August 19, 2007 6:57 PM  
Blogger greg said...

Ditto on those who only insist on high-end gear. In my experience, a lot (not ALL, but a lot) either: a) are just snobs, b) get some sort of kickbacks from the manufacturer (or they ARE the manufacturer) or, c) just haven't experimented. Granted, some may just have plenty of cash on hand and are used to buying the most expensive gear out there. That being said, it's true that we can experiment and come up with great results for very little cash, but it DOES make a better impression on clients when we don't have all of our gear looking like something from an episode of "Junkyard Wars". By far, the best equipment to have is practical advice shared freely by others. Thanks very much!!!

August 31, 2009 7:52 PM  
Blogger jits said...

Wonderful article, I guess this article needs to be referred to again and just get the basics right...when to use incident reading when to take reflective reading are all covered in this and Dave has shared a lot about how to control shadow edge transfer...great learning !

September 19, 2009 9:58 AM  
Blogger KHP said...

Can someone help me figure out how the photographer achieved that little bit of light on the back of the neck/shoulder? It must be reflecting from the background since it seems as though the model's neck would block this light from the front. I can't figure it out!

February 20, 2010 11:10 PM  

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