Nikon Learn & Explore

Easily Add a Streak of Light to a Portrait’s Background

Behind the scenes at portrait lighting workshops with Speedlight flash master David X. Tejada

David Tejada photo of a man with a streak of light diagonally hitting the wall behind him

© David Tejada

D800, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/250 second, f/5.6, ISO 200, manual exposure.

The Portrait Workshop Series

If you're visiting for the first time, we're presenting here a dozen photos taken at portrait photography workshops by the noted commercial photographer and Nikon Creative Lighting System expert David X. Tejada.

To get the most from his tips, techniques and comments, be sure to take a few moments to check out our notes on flash, metering and the CLS before viewing the photos.


David made this portrait with two SB-900s, one in a LumiQuest LTp 9x13 softbox to the right of the subject, the other at camera right at one o'clock. The second flash, which is responsible for the streak of light in the photograph, was modified by a barn door to give shape to its light and a one-half CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel to warm that light. David judged that he'd need a shutter speed of 1/250 second to neutralize the effect of light pouring in through the windows.

David Tejada set up photo of a man against a wall, with a streak of light hitting the wall

© David Tejada