Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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Lighting basics are all about the 'rudimentary' techniques that photographers use to light their photographs. While this often includes basic artificial lighting techniques, it is not in any way *restricted* to questions about artificial lighting.

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54
votes
4answers
42k views

What is Rembrandt lighting, and when do I use It?

I often hear studio photographers talk about 'Rembrandt Lighting' when they're setting up lights and doing studio portrait photography. What is Rembrandt Lighting, and when do I use it?
70
votes
1answer
8k views

In portrait photography, what is 'broad' lighting? What is 'short' lighting?

What are 'broad' and 'short' lighting when it comes to studio portraiture, and when should I use each?
111
votes
7answers
18k views

What are the best techniques for photographing overweight people?

I'm not the most lean person on the planet, and many pictures seem to really point this out. While I wish I was simply in better shape, it is simply not the case for me or unfortunately, many ...
43
votes
18answers
3k views

What are common beginner mistakes in photography?

What are common mistakes seen in images taken by beginning photographers? For example, a friend of mine pointed out that the horizon was not straight in one of my images, and now I see it ...
19
votes
3answers
11k views

What is butterfly lighting, and when do I use it?

I often hear the term 'Butterfly Lighting' used when discussing high-fashion and glamor photography. How do I set up Butterfly Lighting, and when do I use it?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean for light to be soft or hard?

I've heard of "soft lighting" and "hard lighting". What do these mean? How can I control how soft a light is?
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What is split portrait lighting?

Ok, so I got interested enough in the other lighting setups, what is split portrait lighting and when is it appropriate to use?
7
votes
3answers
4k views

What is clamshell lighting, and when should it be used?

I've heard of Clamshell Lighting. What is it, and when should it be used?
7
votes
4answers
299 views

How do I start using a hotshoe flash?

I've just been given a Sigma EF-500 DG ST flash unit. I've not really had much experience using flash. How can I get started? Are there any good learning resources?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a loop lighting pattern?

I've seen several references to a loop lighting pattern, often in the context of portraiture lighting. What is meant by the term?