Guest Blogger: Jason Lykins

First off I want to thank Rick for the opportunity to share my images with you. I am humbled to be included with the likes of Frank Doorhof and David Turner.

When it comes to light, I’m not a gear snob. I use whatever accomplishes my goal of that particular shoot. I’ve been known to use a $7 bed sheet to diffuse a window, a bi-fold door to flag a strobe, or an antique medical light as a main. My go to lighting gear is a collection of speedlites and White Lightning strobes; all of these lights accompanied by a slew of modifiers from parabolic umbrellas, to softboxes, to beauty dishes. 

Let me talk about that last one for a minute. I tend to use my beauty dish a lot. I use it so much because it is so versatile. With the sock on it becomes a soft modifier somewhere between my large softbox, and a strait flash, perfect for female models. With the sock off, it provides me with a really specular, hard-edged light that still somehow stays just a bit softer than a strait on flash. With no sock a beauty dish is perfect for male subjects.

This shot was done with just that, a beauty dish. I was helping teach a two-day workshop last summer on lighting here in Cincy. One of our models had this really soft cream scarf on and during a background change she started playfully wrapping it around her head. I immediately saw a shot that I had floating around in my mind for some time and told her to stop right where she was. The image is done with a single beauty dish, a 30degree grid, and the sock on. The strobe was just camera right at f/11 about 3 feet from the model’s face. Let me touch on that quickly. The key to creating beautiful soft light with a beauty dish, or any light for that matter is distance to subject and size. Just like anything else in lighting, the closer you move the light source to the subject, the larger the light source becomes and the softer the light will be. In this case, 3 feet was the perfect distance.

I want to say thank you again to Rick for giving me this space to share my images. If you’re in the Cincinnati area I’ll be teaching a workshop alongside of Don Giannatti November 12th and 13th. For more information click here.

To see more of my work please visit my website.

Also follow me on twitter: @JasonlPhoto.