• Where to BuyBlogNewsSupport
  • Compacts
  • Battery Packs
  • Power Packs
  • Continuous Light
  • Remote Controls
  • Light Shapers
  • Studio
  • Search :
    © Quentin Décaillet

    How To Start With Grids?

    2 easy setups to recreate.

    by Quentin Décaillet

    To help you get started with grids, here are two easy setups for you to recreate.

    What is a grid?

    If you want to learn more about grids before digging in this tutorial, please have a close look at this article.

    Backlit Portrait

    © Quentin Décaillet

    What you need

    We placed the unit behind our model, up high, just like a hair light.

    Emulate the sun

    Use either the 12°, 20°, or 30° grid depending on your taste.

    • I used the 30° to have a focused beam of light while still maintaining a bit of flare (use a tighter grid if you don’t want any).
    • Then we place the reflector in front of our model, up high as well and angled so that it reflects the light beam on the model’s face.
    • The aim is to emulate a fill without the need for a second flash.

    Easy & Quick

    In studio, it’s easy and quick to setup, and you can play with flare. On location, it is amazing!

    Place a 1/2 or full CTO gel in front of your grid, and you end up with a portrait that looks like it was taken at the golden hour! I use it a lot when I shoot engagement sessions and weddings because the setup is incredibly easy and doesn’t require much equipment or an assistant.

    © Quentin Décaillet

    This setup is a bit more complex, but if you do it one light at a time, you’ll realize that it’s quite logical. It can easily be tweaked with more or fewer flash units.

    Step 1

    What you need

    Our main light source is a simple 70 cm beauty dish, in front of our model. I used the silver one, with the diffusion sock, and the white deflector.

    © Quentin Décaillet

    Start Simple

    The result is nice, but nothing extraordinary.

    The model's eyes look flat, and the shadows could use a bit of fill light.

    I could just place a simple reflector below her face, at waist level, but then I couldn’t move my beauty dish without affecting the fill light as well.

    I could place a rectangular softbox, pointing upwards, at waist level instead, but the light would spill all over the place. Instead, let’s set a strobe with a 12° grid in front of the model, pointing down to a circular reflector that reflects the flash light into my model’s face.

    The picture bellow will probably explain this better than my words.

    Step 2

    What you need

    Flatten the light

    The light is much more flattering now and having a fill light also attenuates some of the skin texture issues I otherwise would have to clean up in Photoshop.

    While better, it’s still not perfect yet. The overall image lacks dimensions.

    So, like in our portrait setup, let’s place a hair light. The grid you chose here will depend on a few different elements. First is flaring and second is if the model has to move into different poses or not. I opted for a 20° grid, to give my model room to move a tiny bit while still avoiding flare.

    © Quentin Décaillet

    Step 3

    What you need

    Add depth

    Still, the hair light is making things better, but the background is just flat and doesn’t have any interest here. So I decided to add a unit right behind my model with a 20° grid, lighting the background. It gives a beautiful glow to the seamless paper and gives more depth to the picture.

    © Quentin Décaillet

    What you need

    Go further

    The face is lit correctly and the image has a bit of dimension. Yet, we could go further.

    If you wish to add even more depth, you could add another back light, but this one lighting the model’s arm and shoulder.

    Step 4

    What you need

    More drama

    You could add a grid on your beauty dish to give more drama to the image.

    With a grid on the beauty dish, less light will spill over the background, and a strong vignetting will appear.

    Wrap Up

    The Grid Bag

    Both configurations will help you get started with grids and give you a sense of what can be achieved with them, both in studio or on location.

    They are an excellent way to learn and to control your light better, as well as to create unique setups otherwise impossible.

    Note

    All pictures shown in this article have only been processed in Capture One. No further retouching was applied to alter the fall-off of light.

    Grids Sets

    • Reflector Grid Set 18 cm

      Reflector Grid Set 18 cmN° 26060

      The Grid Reflector 18cm is a general purpose reflector for travelling and can be used for direct or indirect lighting with Elinchrom umbrellas. 

      The included 30° grid limit light spread and offers sharper shadows.

      This set includes one reflector and one grid.

      Excessive heat can damage units and accessories.
      Reduce modelling lamp power when reflectors are used with grids or snoots.
      Grids should never be used with 650W modelling lamps.

    • Reflector Grid Set 18 Complete

      Reflector Grid Set 18 CompleteN° 26135

      The Grid Reflector 18cm is a general purpose reflector for travelling and can be used for direct or indirect lighting with Elinchrom umbrellas.

      The included grids limit light spread and offers sharper shadows.

       

      Included:

      - 1x 18cm Reflector 70° - N° 26080

      - 1x Grid 30° - N° 26100

      - 1x Grid 20° - N° 26101

      - 1x Grid 12° - N° 26102

      - 1x Gel Holder - N° 26132

      Excessive heat can damage units and accessories.
      Reduce modelling lamp power when reflectors are used with grids or snoots.
      Grids should never be used with 650W modelling lamps.

    • Reflector Grid Set 21 Complete

      Reflector Grid Set 21 CompleteN° 26051

      The Standard Reflector 21cm combines high output with a good spread of light and the included grids limit light spread and offers sharper shadows. 

      Included:

      - 1x 21cm Reflector 50° - N° 26141

      - 1x Grid 8° - N° 26055

      - 1x Grid 12° - N° 26054

      - 1x Grid 20° - N° 26053

      - 1x Grid 30° - N° 26052

      Excessive heat can damage units and accessories.
      Reduce modelling lamp power when reflectors are used with grids or snoots.
      Grids should never be used with 650W modelling lamps.

    • Grid Bag

      Grid BagN° 33217

      The Grid Bag is a practical accessory in which to transport and store your grids or similar accessories, in the most convenient way.

      Designed to carry four or more grids between 18cm and 21cm diameter.

      Dimensions HxLxW: 11 x 26 x 24 cm

    Top