A little while ago I was teaching one of my lighting workshops and one of the attendees was looking to implement some of the set-ups I was sharing into his workflow. Seems simple enough right? Well it turns out this photographer was a Formula 1 trackside shooter that needed to get portraits of drivers and crew. As you may well imagine, there is limited time to setup a photoshoot in a busy pit-lane on race-day, so he was after lighting modifiers that would be suitable for his slightly more ‘run-and-gun’ portraits.
Creating a dramatic portrait, moody ,emotional, edgy, dark, the subject/model, scene and clothing help portray all of those but one ingredient that remains constant to help achieve the drama is light, shadow and highlight, in this blog post I cover how I lit this image I will show you the position of the lights and what modifiers were used.
If you want to jump straight to the video explaining it all here you go.
My name is Andrea Belluso and I used to define myself as a fashion and beauty photographer.
To be great at lighting in photography is much e¬asier than you might think. I see most photographers making things way too complicated and spending way too much time thinking through their lighting and trying to achieve the perfect picture.
All this eventually leads to frustration, irritated clients, and eventually considering photography a job like any other. In order for you to maintain fun and pleasure in your photography and being as excited with every single picture you take as you were when you took your first picture, it is vital to have the element of freedom and adventure with every single shot.
So, how do you do that? Simple, it’s all in your approach to lighting.
Lighting is not a technical thing, it is a way of creating feelings, emotions, and moods. The technique and technical equipment are just there to help us. Just like brushes and paint are not what creates how a painting makes you feel, they are simply tools that used in one way or another will change your mood once you look at the painting.
So here are 6 tips on getting better at lighting and having more fun and ease with it.
Have you ever found yourself looking at your children’s toys and thought to yourself man that would look great in an image? Well I have, I do and I love creating images this way, trying to create a realistic/surreal image which tells a story from using nothing more than a piece of plastic.
Oftentimes, it’s only a small trick and a discreet detail that can make a significant difference to a photo. Food photographer Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot has two lighting tricks that will add a new dimension to your food images. They are simple to pull off, yet they’re effective and can really make a difference. Check them out in the video below.
Lighting glossy metal objects can be really tricky when you incorporate them in photos. They don’t only reflect light in a pretty harsh way, but they also reflect the scene. In this video, Jay P. Morgan teaches you how to light shiny metal objects so you make them look their best in your shots. He guides you through his setup and gives an example of lighting a BB gun in a studio.
Backlighting seems to be one of those techniques that people either love or hate. Personally, I’m a huge fan, although when shooting stills, I usually add a bit of flash from the front with a big softbox. But backlighting isn’t just for stills. it’s great for video, too, and can add a lot of drama and dynamism to a shot.
In this video, filmmaker Mark Bone discusses the backlighting technique, why he uses it in his work and why it’s his favourite lighting technique.
If you’re like me and you’ve tried to attach gels to your lights in the past, you’ve likely resorted to using one of the many types of sticky tapes available. When I used to manage a studio, I would see all manner of tapes being used to attach gels to hot modifiers. From masking tape, duct tape, parcel tape and when they ran out, even regular old sticky tape was used. But ultimately, all of these tapes fell short in achieving their simple task of holding a coloured gel in front of a light.
If you want people to take you seriously, whether it’s in a vlog or a simple video conference with a colleague or client, you need to have good lighting. As photographers or filmmakers we’re supposed to know this stuff. So, having bad lighting on ourselves doesn’t really set a great impression.
In this video, Jay P Morgan at The Slanted Lens takes a look at how to easily light for vlogging, or any other time you might want to point a camera at yourself for a quick video. And it doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money – or any at all.
When it comes to lighting effects for photography, only your imagination is the limit. In this video, Derrick Freske will show you five tricks that require nothing but your smartphone flashlight as the light source. They’re simple and cheap, but they can give many creative effects to your images.