A two zone/mixed lighting set up is one of the simplest to design and create. It’s visually captivating with infinitely diverse applications. Easily controllable, yet unpredictable, it can add drama, whimsy, or elusive sensuality to a photograph.
Two zone/mixed lighting refers to two different lighting sources, isolated in two distinct zones to create a single photograph. Zone 1 affects only foreground subject and Zone 2 only affects the background. It’s the combination of the light sources and your creativity that gives you a unique result in the final image.
• Physical separation isolates one light zone from the other
• Aperture controls your flash
• Shutter controls your blur
• Your creative vision controls it all
The more distance between the subject and the background, the easier it is to isolate the light zones and achieve optimum results. When necessary, some 4×8 foam board panels or black curtains are used to help contain the light in each zone. The advantage is that each zone’s lighting is 100% independent from the other, giving the photographer unlimited options, for example, Mixed Lighting.
The light on the subject zone can be completely different than the background zone in quality, intensity, color, color temperature, or source (constant vs. flash).
The most common arrangement is studio flash on the foreground subject with a continuous light source (such as tungsten or LED) on the background.