Sixty Seconds with Hernan Rodriguez

If you showed up at a photo shoot and all of your modifiers were missing, except for one, which would you hope it would be?
It has to be the Westcott Master’s Brush. That little softbox has a circular diffuser with black mesh and a barn door. The inner liner is silver, which gives me great specular highlights for fashion, as well.


Which do you prefer to work with on location: off-camera flashes or strobes with battery packs?
I gotta go with strobe and battery packs. If I’m on location, I like to know I have 2,000 watts to work with to stop down the sun if need be. I use the Dynalite 2000 pack.

When you shoot off-camera flash, do you use Manual mode or TTL?
When I shoot off-camera flash, my subject is almost always in a very predictable spot, so I keep it manual and base my exposure on skin tones.

Is there a particular lighting accessory that you use a lot these days?
Lately, I’ve been using Rosco LitePad HO, which is a small, compact, continuous light balanced at 6,000 K. One is 3″ and the other is 6″. I also gel them for great effects.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and tell yourself something about lighting, what would it be?
Learn as much as you can about the physics and science of light and its behavior. This way you take that out of the equation while you spend the rest of your career enjoying the art of photography.

What’s the average number of flashes (or strobes) you use for a location portrait shoot?
When it’s my choice, I like one light with the sun and two or three reflectors: two silver, one white. The sun is normally my rim light.