As Gavin Hoey explains in this informative video tutorial on softboxes, soft light is generally preferred over a hard light when shooting portraits. There are a number of light modifiers that can help achieve soft light, but one of the most commonly used is a softbox. When choosing and setting up the correct softbox for the job, size and distance from the subject will make a huge difference in the softness of light it will distribute. [Read more...]
Brooke Shaden is the kind of inventive photographer who prefers to do-it-herself rather than spends wheelbarrows of money on expensive studio lighting and modifiers. Instead, Shaden challenges us to get creative with what resources we have available to us. In this case, it was one or two basic house lamps from Ikea. (And if you really want to get elaborate with your set up, she also explains how to use a tissue to diffuse the light from the lamps.) [Read more...]
Gels are common tools to use when you want to change the temperature of your light or add color to white backgrounds. but they can also be used to simulate the look of different kinds of lights. In this case, Joe McNally uses a blue gel over a speedlight to mimic the look of a glowing movie projector. It’s a pretty creative application of the gels and goes to show that with a little imagination and a pack of Rosco gels, the sky is the limit. [Read more...]
When it comes to portrait lighting, Joel Grimes abides by some basic principles to achieve just the look he is going for. But, while those principles are basic, they may not necessarily be obvious. Fortunately, Grimes is a great educator and has made this quick video tutorial to share some of his pro advice and deliver us with a very simple way to get several different lighting looks using just one strobe, a reflector, and an octobox. [Read more...]
In the video tutorial below, Gavin Hoey tackles an issue many photographers new to shooting on white backgrounds are faced with–white backgrounds that look grey in photographs.
As you may already know, this is caused by the inverse square law, which you can learn all about here. But for now, let’s focus on the solution which, as Hoey explains, can be as simple as adding a second light into the mix. [Read more...]
LED light panels are great tools to have in your studio regardless of whether your a working with video or still photography. The continuous light sources come in a variety of sizes, but the nice ones also come at a price that may not agree with everyone’s budget. In this exceptionally well made video tutorial from the nice folks over at DIY Perks, you can learn how to make your own $500 dollar panel for under $70.
Before we get started, we should probably let you know this isn’t exactly the easiest or fastest project we’ve featured. It’s also not the most difficult, but you’ll need to be comfortable with power tools and know how to (or learn how to) work a soldering iron. If you’re willing to put in the time, the end product could save you some serious dough and also boost your DIY cred to all new heights.
A set of color gels are incredibly useful to have around any studio whether you are a still photographer or a filmmaker. They aren’t even that expensive. You can pick up a set of 24 Lee gel filters online for under $40. Definitely worth the investment, BUT if you get caught without a set or just like the challenge and sense of accomplishment of a DIY project, you are going to want to take a peek at this short video from film maker, Ryan Connolly, as he shows us how we can replicate the look of a color gel using nothing more than a light source and a bath towel.
Diffusion blades (or panels) are incredibly useful things to have laying around a photography studio. Why pay over $100 each for a blade when you can build them yourself quickly and easily for a 1/3 of the price? In this video tutorial, Tony Roslund shows us how he makes his own blades using easily resourced materials. [Read more...]
Let’s face it; we’re not scientists and the name of this law could frighten many of us. The reality is that this is a very basic concept with a very technical name: the inverse square law of light.
When it comes to lighting subjects, whether you’re a wedding photographer of a feature film cinematographer, the possibilities given to you are endless. Sometimes you don’t know how you want to photograph something just because you might not know whether you’re doing it in the best way possible. With so many different ways to light something, it’s pretty easy to start doubting yourself, and it happens to us all the time.
Ring lights have a very specific light signature. Mostly it is connected with fashion photography as it gives out a very flattering light. The light is coming from around the lens, but since it is symmetrical it seems as if the light is coming right from the center of the lens.
Small strobe powered ring lights can be used for stills but if you want something really impressive, you would go with a huge wooden bulb-driven ring light. While those are a bit harder to transport, they give out a spectacular light that can also be used for video.
(Oh, and make sure to check out those crazy catch lights at the sample pictures at the end of the post!) [Read more...]