Alexandria0516MUAAthenaBenjaminHair-JadynElyseWaden - IMG_6009-Edit.jpg
Marcela0617kristopher-house - IMGL7558-Edit.jpg

Intro to studio lights

Lights are lights. That’s what you’ll figure out if you haven’t already. As photographers and artists, we are in charge of the light. That’s the cool part and what makes us good at what we do. Controlling the light. And in a studio we have 100% control. No sun to dictate what we do.

What many forget is the other half of the equation. Dark. We control that too and without dark the light is pretty darned boring.

I’ll talk about the long, narrow strip boxes I love so much. And a couple types of umbrellas as well as the beauty dish. And the ring light.

It’s all pretty much an intro as it says. But seeing what each looks like and hearing what they are used for in their various combinations is important. This information will make the life model shoots make more sense as I traverse between different lights, modifiers, and angles. Understanding each and what they are used for, and capable of, is escential to learning lighting to a point of competence and confidence.

The images on the left are interesting.

The gal on the floor with a camera has a strip light pointed at her from camera left. You can examine the shadow on her back to get a good feel for the angle. The beauty dish in the back is being used to light up the wall behind her for accept. It has a grid in it because the spot on the wall is fairly narrow. Another grid can be seen leaning on the wall to the right.

The lower image is not lit with a light at all. It is a reminder to watch the light and work with it.

In this case, I was trying to get this exact image. It would have required I use a strong flash with no modifier about 20’ outside the window that has large blinds. The reason for no modifier is that it takes a point of light to give that kind of defined shadow. In the process of lining it all up and getting Marcela ready I noticed EXACTLY the light I wanted already in her face. And it was not from the flash. I adjusted my camera for the ambient room light and just started shooting. I knew I could figure out where the light was coming from later. Just get the shot!!

A few minutes later, after being satisfied that I had the images I wanted with the stripes of light, I investigated. It turned out to be a glint of the sun on my car’s door handle. Ahhh, Arizona sun can be bright. And the glint was as tiny a spot light as I could ever hope for. Perfection by serindipity.

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