Our latest edition of DIY Photography educational content is about lighting. We put together a little production to show the dos and don’ts of lighting. This fundamental guide is meant to help you get a better understanding of how to take better control of your set. Specifically, your lights. Lighting is a fundamental part of both filmmaking and photography. A basic understanding of the concepts and rules of lighting is enough to go to the next level. This course will break down the types of lights, some setups, and some tips.
It seems that there are always things we “need” to learn when it comes to shooting certain genres of photography. And while many of them for a lot of genres do boil down to personal taste, when it comes to portraits, there are some things that you need to know and understand, like lighting techniques – even if you don’t use all of them all of the time.
In this video, photographer Hannah Couzens shows us five different popular portrait lighting styles that every portrait photographer should really know and understand. She also demonstrates them using both hard and soft light, so that you can see how the light actually hits the subject and how to make it more visually pleasing.
If you don’t own several strobes or simply don’t feel like making complicated lighting setups, you can use just one light and still get professional shots. In fact, you can turn this single light into two, three or even more lights. Well – kind of. It’s pretty simple, but you’ll need some Photoshop magic. In this video from Adorama, Gavin Hoey will show you how.
If you’re new to portrait photography, basic lighting patterns are a very useful thing to master. But if you want to use them efficiently, it’s not just about knowing how to create them, but also why. In this video from Adorama, Pye Jirsa explains primary key light patterns: how to create them, but also the purpose behind each of them. They work for studio light as well as natural light, so I believe many of you will find this video useful.
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.
Photographing glass can seem tricky and difficult to do right. But in this video from Adorama, photographer David Bergman shows you that it’s easier than you might think. In only two minutes, you’ll see the lighting setups and a few tricks that will help you create different looks of your images and end up with professional-looking results.
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.
You don’t have to be new to photography to be new to studio lighting. In this video, Jeff Rojas will help you learn some of the basics fast. He discusses five essential studio lighting patterns, and knowing them will help you improve and add versatility to your studio portraits. And the best thing is – you can achieve all of them using just one light.
The sunlight on an overcast day is a soft light ideal for photos and videos. And in this video tutorial, George and Kevin of Filmora will teach you how to emulate the look of sunlight when shooting indoors. It takes very little time, it’s a pretty affordable setup, and you can use it for both video and stills.
I know it’s extremely trendy right now to say that ‘one light is all you need’, and although in certain situations this is true, a of the time extra lights will likely look better, or at the very least make your life easier.
Now before you rush to the comments section to proclaim the purity and simplicity of a black and white headshot being lit by a single light as being the very essence of great photography, I’ll just add that I agree. Sometimes, complicated lighting and over-lit portraits can certainly get in the way of a subject but conversely, a more visually interesting shot can also be achieved with the addition of more lights to draw in and engage a viewer.