One of the bigger personal projects I’ve been working on recently is my Cinematic Studio Lighting course. During the process of writing the accompanying notes and shooting promotional images for the event, I’ve done a ton of research on how cinematographers and directors of photography work, think and plan their shots. I originally thought the two worlds of photography and cinematography would be fairly similar, but I ended up learning a lot more than I thought I would and I think that’s down to how cinematographers approach the setup of their image compared to many of us photographers, especially those of us who primarily shoot in a studio.
When shooting portraits in a studio with artificial lighting, the possibilities are endless. But if you’re looking for something simple, beginner-friendly, yet very effective, look no further. In this video, Manny Ortiz shows you one of his favorite beauty lighting setups. It uses two lights, a single light stand, and gives you beautiful and consistent lighting in every shot.
There will always be ‘classics’ in any industry. Sure these classics may not turn heads or make the headlines and they may even take a dip in popularity for a while, but these ‘classics’ will always be a timeless safe bet.
Fashion has its ‘little black dress’ and ‘tan trench coat’, cooking has its lasagne, burger, pizza, and many, many more. They’re always going to be winners in most peoples eyes and they’re as popular today as they were years ago, plus they will undoubtedly be popular for many years to come.
Studio lighting gives you almost endless possibilities. You can even recreate natural, window light with a pretty simple setup. Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot shares with you how to create a studio lighting setup that mimics window lighting, and it’s perfect for still life and food photography.
I’ve always been drawn to interesting looking light. The simple, soft and flat light of softboxes and other standard modifiers rarely hold my attention and I’ve often felt like that softbox lighting doesn’t exist outside of the studio. It’s always looked a little too clinical for me.
We’re shown interesting light all of the time when we’re observing daylight. Dappled light as it falls through leaves, dancing sparkles of light on water, rays of light through buildings and other structures, but we rarely try and bring that interesting looking light into the studio. In fact, many of us chase and covet this idea of ‘perfect’ light from a generic modifier and although there is certainly a time and a place for that, today I’d like to share a lighting technique that is a little more visually engaging.
When we talk about studio lighting, we always talk about light modifiers as well. They’re an integral part of using artificial lighting, but does it mean you should use them absolutely all the time? In this video from Adorama, Mark Wallace addresses this topic through a set of examples. He takes photos in his studio with different modifiers to show you what each of them does, so you can see for yourself whether or not you can get away with omitting them.
When you first start shooting in a studio, it’s very exciting – but it can also be overwhelming. There’s so much to learn about studio lighting and so many mistakes that you’ll make. In this video, Karl Taylor mentions nine of the biggest mistakes photographers make when they first start shooting with studio lighting. Of course, we all learn from or mistakes, but let’s try and flatten that learning curve, shall we?
Studio lighting can be tricky, but in reality shooting, in a big open studio space with all the fancy modifiers and stands is a damn sight easier than shooting in a small, cramped on-location space.
“But Jake, surely all professional photographers get to shoot in nice big, bright, airy studios all the time right?”
Wrong. In fact part of the job is having the ability to shoot almost anywhere and for those of us who end up shooting fashion and editorial style work, we need to shoot in some very awkward spaces. From underground nightclubs, fancy bathrooms, or even smaller European homes, all of these small spaces present a multitude of problems and if the client wants to shoot there, it’s your job to make it happen.
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.
I’m just gonna come clean here and say that I just made up the name ‘corona’ for this lighting setup. In fact, the word corona is a commonly used term with solar eclipses. During an eclipse, we can often see the moon silhouetted against a ring of light and the word corona is often used to describe that halo of light we see around the moon.
As we explain this lighting, my reasoning for calling this setup ‘corona’, should start to make a bit more sense because we are actually trying to achieve a similar lighting eclipse look by adding a ring of light around our subject.