Mastering Outdoor Photography with One Light Setup

6th September 2023 2 min read

Mastering Outdoor Photography with One Light Setup

When it comes to outdoor photography, there's something truly magical about the soft, warm glow of the early evening sun. Capturing that perfect golden hour shot can be a game-changer for your photography, and it's entirely possible to mimic this natural beauty using just one light source. In this guide, we'll delve into the art of outdoor photography during the early evening hours, using a Nikon Z9 camera and one Godox studio light to create stunning images that rival the sun itself.

1. Understanding the Golden Hour:

The golden hour is that fleeting period shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the sun casts a warm, soft, and flattering light on everything it touches. To replicate this effect, it's crucial to have a solid grasp of the golden hour's characteristics. It typically occurs during the first and last hour of sunlight in a day, offering soft and diffused light that enhances your subjects and creates beautiful shadows.

2. Equipment You'll Need:

For this setup, you'll need the following equipment:

- Nikon Z9 Camera (Or whatever camera you have or own): Known for its remarkable low-light performance and high-quality sensors, the Nikon Z9 is the perfect companion for capturing the subtleties of the golden hour.

- Godox Studio Light: Select a portable and powerful Godox studio light with adjustable settings to control the intensity of your artificial sunlight.

- Light Modifiers: Softboxes, umbrellas, or diffusion panels are essential to soften and spread the light, simulating the gentle quality of natural sunlight.

- Tripod: Stability is key, so a sturdy tripod is crucial to avoid any unwanted blurriness in your photos.

3. Choosing the Right Location:

Selecting the perfect location is vital for mimicking the golden hour's magic. Look for open spaces with visually appealing backgrounds and consider factors like the direction of light and the potential for interesting compositions. Research and scouting are your friends here; familiarise yourself with the area before the shoot.

4. Setting Up Your Godox Studio Light:

Position your Godox studio light to mimic the angle of the sun during the golden hour. Use light modifiers to diffuse the light and create soft, flattering shadows on your subject. Adjust the light's intensity and warmth to match the golden hour's characteristics, typically around 3200-4000K. This will give your photos that warm, inviting glow.

5. Using Your Nikon Z9 Camera:

The Nikon Z9's exceptional sensor and low-light capabilities make it an ideal choice for this setup. Use a wide aperture (f/2.8 or lower) to achieve a shallow depth of field and a beautifully blurred background. Set your ISO low to maintain image quality and reduce noise. Experiment with your camera's white balance settings to fine-tune the colour temperature to match the golden hour.

6. Posing and Composition:

Direct your subject to pose naturally or dramatically and make the most of the soft, flattering light. Experiment with different angles and compositions to create visually striking images. Encourage your subject to interact with the environment to capture genuine moments.

7. Post-Processing:

Once you've captured your golden hour shots, the final touch lies in post-processing. Use editing software like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Capture one to enhance colours, contrast, and exposure while maintaining the natural feel of the golden hour.


Mastering the art of outdoor photography during the early evening hours with a one-light setup is an exciting journey that can yield breath taking results. With the right equipment, location, and techniques, you can create images that rival the beauty of the sun itself. Embrace the magic of the golden hour, and watch your photography skills soar to new heights. Happy shooting!