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.
Like many things in life, there’s no right or wrong way to learn photographic lighting… but I do believe there are easy ways and hard ways to not only understand it, but more importantly get better at it.
I think every creative discipline evolves, but photography sees more significant jumps in its evolution due to it being so uniquely tied to technology. Every frame we capture is taken with a camera and that camera technology is evolving on a daily basis. Every frame we then have to develop is primarily produced through software and that too evolves on a daily basis. The tools that we use to create our work are constantly changing but I feel that the way we learn some of the techniques associated with these tools do not.