I’ve been using a new 1-light setup recently that is a slight modification of one of my standard setups.
When I want a punchy direct light I’ve used either Elinchrom’s Rotalux 27” Softbox Deep Octa or a Phottix Luna Deep Octabank measuring 39”. In both cases I use the Octabanks with both the internal and external diffuser panel. The setup has traditionally been 45 degrees camera right & 45 degrees (approximately) above but aiming down to the model. My standard setup is to have the model about 7-8 feet from the background and the light about 3-4 feet from the model.
The more recent 1-light setup for this blog was to use the Phottix deep Octabank, but position the light directly above my model. The octabank is angled down as far as possible (approximately 60-65 degrees facing down). I then have my model stand just under the far end of the octabank. The front of the octabank is only about 2’ above the model. Essentially, he/she is standing directly under the front end of the diffuser. I position the light either directly in front of the model or 45 degrees camera right.
The effect is to have a gradation of light across the front of the model with most falling on the model’s face, shoulders, hair & chest. There is little if no spill onto the background.
Metering is the same as my normal setup, f/9, ISO 160 & speed 1/160. For the recent shoots I’m using an Elinchrom Style RX1200 Monolight.
I like the effect of the setup. I think it gives a more effective gradation of light below the waist and legs versus when the light is aimed at my model face at a 45 degree angle. Also, because the light is closer to my model it’s softer. Here are a few photos of the setup and of model Josie & Ashley using the setup.
One additional note - because of the way the light is setup and how close it is to your model you need to make sure it’s properly secured and sandbagged. Don’t want it to come falling down.