Girl holding lightbulb and reading

A light light for a heavy book.

While there were some snags, I’m still pretty pleased with this shot because it was my first attempt at this kind of thing, and because it was something I thought of about a month ago, spent some time conceptualizing, and most importantly, actually followed through with.

Lauren set up what I call “Mumford and Sons lights” in our yard at the start of August, and I liked the look of them for a background. A while later I played with the idea of lighting a bulb without plugging it in. After waiting for the weather to cool a bit, I got in touch with the super helpful Brianna, and we gave it a whirl.

With her seated, I set up a soft box to the left side, and a snoot behind pointing at the lightbulb in order to make it light up. The equipment in the back I removed after the fact via some photoshoppery.

Kinda like this

Kinda like this

I had an orange gel on both my strobes to help make the colours match the warmth of the lights in the background. Otherwise both she and the lightbulb would have looked bright white in this shot.

If I were to try this again in the future, I would try to arrange a situation where she is holding a bigger bulb, and the snoot was farther back so that nothing would actually need to be removed in post as long as we positioned everything precisely. Having the background lights a bit brighter would also help out. Lessons learned, and either way, a satisfying outcome.

I took this with my 50mm lens, shooting at 1/60 and f5.6, with an ISO of 200.

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