Not all of us are lucky to have large, spacious studios or apartments. So, you have to work with what you’ve got. In this video from Adorama, Miguel Quiles will show you how to create wonderful soft light in a tiny space, using only one light source.
When most portrait photographers want to create a directional soft light look, they break out the strobes. Then they usually stick a big octabox on the front of it. But what if you don’t have all that gear? How else can you get soft directional light? Well, you may be able to use the window in your bathroom.
In this video, Jay P Morgan shows us how we can get great soft directional light using only what enters through the bathroom window. Or whatever room in which you happen to be shooting. It’s a great technique if you don’t have flash gear and want to practise your portraits.
The choice for shooting hard vs soft light is quite an easy one for many people. But if you don’t understand what the difference is, what difference it makes to your subject, or how to create it, soft light can be a bit of a mystery. Soft light is fantastic for portraits, though. It’s particularly flattering, especially to ladies, and isn’t that difficult to understand.
This video from Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter walks us through how to get it and why we need it. Caleb uses his lights for video, although the principles are exactly the same for photography, too.
Most large modifiers come with two diffusers. A big one for the outer rim and a smaller one that fits between the source of light and the big diffuser, right in the middle of the modifier. Of course, this begs the question how may diffusion layers do you actually need.
Following on from our earlier post about different types of light comes this one from Curtis Judd. The other video spoke about the various positions in which you can place a light, but it didn’t really cover quality of light. The size of the light source, how hard or soft it is.
The hardness or softness of the light can have just as much impact as the position of the light. So, in this video, Curtis goes over the difference between hard and soft light. How to achieve each, and the benefits and drawbacks of one over the other.
Understanding different types of light is important. If you don’t know how light works, then fixing issues that show up in your lighting during a shoot is going to be a pain.
In this video from Wolfcrow, filmmaker Sareesh Sudhakaran explains the different types of light, how they affect our subject, the problems they can present, and some tips on how to overcome them.
Forget Mr.White, today we’re Breaking Clay!
I am a long time follower of Clay Cook, and one thing that always amazes me is his softly lit group shots. I mean soft light for one person is easy, but a group is a whole other story. I sat with Clay (well, virtually sat with Clay) and asked him about his workflow.
Hey Clay! I can see a lot of interesting factors here that I think the readers will want to know about.
Let’s start top and work our way through.
Not very long ago I got to visit my buddy Joseph Parry. We drank (quite a lot of beer), we ate (lots of chocolate brownies) and we took photos. Like any normal person, when they go visit a friend I brought with me a cowboy outfit. Wait! What, that’s not normal!!?? Well welcome to my world.
Anyway, I got Joseph to don the cowboy outfit, which suited his manly yet strangely conditioned soft beard, and we set up to shoot a portrait. As part of the setup Joseph had recently bought a Gravity Backdrop which we were going to use as the background. For me, this was the first time using an actual hand printed, textured, background and I was stunned by how awesome it made the images look straight from camera (and of course you can fake it, but it is no longer out of camera). It gave us a great base to work from, the result of said shoot being the image below.
I have been planning around trying to build a DIY scrim for about a month now but couldn’t think of a frame where I could start my project. First thing I thought of was making it out of PVC pipes (sadly PVC pipes are not as easy to get here), then thought of using wood for the frame. I put it aside for a while until I found the perfect frame for my new project.
A scrim is not a stand alone unit and you want a light source behind it – either a strobe, a strong continuous light or even the sun. The scrim will diffuse that light (and eat quite a bit of it during the process) into a beautiful soft light.
Normally when I go to the local mall I visit the Japan Store because almost everything there is for P88 ($2USD) and there is a LOT of stuff to choose from, so I was looking around the other day and found a portable clothes hanger for around $5.50 USD. WIN! This would be the perfect frame for my next project. (If you don’t live in the Philippines, fret not, they are pretty cheap in the US too)