by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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I have a basic home studio setup now, and I want to get better at using it. So far I've just been shooting away at the dog, and a couple stuffed animals.

I really don't have any feel for lighting subjects with multiple lights--it's pretty much all trial and error. I'm hoping to pickup a digital lightmeter within the coming weeks, so until then I just run around, make some changes, and snap away.

This seems like the most backwards way to learn how to shoot in a studio setup.

What are some exercises, or studies that I can do that will help me get better at studio photography?

I'm interested in both still life shots, as well as single and family portraits.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Strobist: Lighting 101

You can also jump into basic lighting setups to experiment with.

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You say you've been photographing your dog somewhat dismissively, but IMO s/he would be a wonderful subject; I smell huge opportunity to make some really winning portraits of him/her. Good pet portraits are tricky, so it's a deep subject. I don't have any experience in studio lighting, so I can't help there, but if the dog is willing to hang out and be photographed over and over, I'd suggest some super high quality portraits of him/her as an initial goal.

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I second

Also, check out this book: Digital Portrait Photography by Steve Sint. It contains the best lighting primer I have come across.

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