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.
No matter what kind of photography you prefer, there are so many light modifiers to choose from and give your photos the look you want. A wide choice is a great thing, but it can also be confusing. To help you out, Scott Choucino has compared as many as 17 of light modifiers in his studio. So, let’s see in his video how different light modifiers work and how they affect your images.
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.
Being kind of a computer geek, I found myself looking for a good way to simulate studio lights. I tried Blender, Cinema 4D, and other 3D programs until I found Set.a.Light 3D. Let me save you the long read. It’s awesome. OK, you can continue now.
I first fell in love with Set.aLight 3D with one of its first versions back in 2015 or so. It was love at first light (sorry! I could not resist the pun). Since those early days, the simulation improved quite a bit, and the latest v2 release officially blew my mind.
When you shoot with artificial lighting, you have all the control over it. But, there’s a lot to have in mind if you want to get your shots just the way you want them. In this informative video, Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot discusses the three most important things that you should always keep in mind when photographing food with artificial lights. And even though she is focused on food photography, this is something everyone should have in mind when using studio lights.
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.
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.
If you’re unfamiliar with what lens flare is then it’s the hazy washed out areas in an image that appear far brighter than they should do. You usually can’t see flare with your own eyes but when you take a shot, there it is and often it’s an undesired effect that can ruin several aspects of your photo including contrast.