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The use of extra lights, often flash units, in order to make up for a lack of light or to gain more creative control over the image.

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3answers
236 views

What must I buy to take amazing product photos?

I'm looking to do some very high quality professional looking shots for my collection of various items. They are not big items, imagine camera collection or lens collection etc. What must I buy to be ...
21
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2answers
5k views

How do I get good colors when taking pictures in the city at night?

I'm very interested in doing night time shootings. I'm using Canon 5d3 with 85mm at f/1.2, and at iso 2000 I'm able to get exposure times around 1/150s-1/200s. However, the lighting in my city ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it practical to shoot portraits by only candlelight?

Is it practical to shoot portraits in candle lights, only, provided there is no flash around? If yes, then for portrait shots, where and how should one place the candles? Are there any specific ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What goes into making smooth, crisp, fashion magazine worthy shots?

I bought an SLR, a Nikon D70, several years ago with the intension of eventually reproducing the smooth but crisp effect I had seen from my favorite portrait shots like this one from Declan McCullagh: ...
17
votes
3answers
881 views

What is the difference between a softbox and a shoot-through umbrella?

As far as I can see, using shoot-through umbrellas is slightly cheaper than using softboxes. Would I give up anything if I went with umbrellas? Would it make any difference to the images I create?
21
votes
3answers
1k views

How to photograph smoke?

I have been trying to get images of smoke against a black background. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to do this and a good lens choice and lighting set up for the job?
9
votes
3answers
12k views

What is flat light and how to counter that?

I have often heard people saying that the light in the picture X is appearing "flat". I want to understand what exactly does that mean, and what are the possible ways to counter that?
8
votes
6answers
802 views

What's a decent lighting kit for getting started with portraits?

I've done mostly nature photography up to this point but later this month a friend is having a birthday and she just had a daughter so I wanted to take some father/daughter portraits. So now I'm ...
21
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5answers
2k views

How do mountains affect lighting at sunrise and sunset?

I just got back from a trip in the Rockies. The tall and close mountains mean that the sun sets earlier than flatter places at the same latitude -- perhaps by an hour or so. The same applies to ...
13
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3answers
677 views

How to light spontaneous portraits?

I currently am in Singapore for an exchange year. The architecture here is impressive, the lights at night are wonderful, but what I find to be the most interesting are the people. You can find people ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I photograph coins with a glossy surface?

I am trying to photograph my coin sets. The coins are encased in a postcard-sized glossy paper that acts as mirror. I need to position my camera exactly on top of the card coin set. Unfortunately, ...
9
votes
3answers
356 views

How do I improve the results of photos taken in a light-box?

I'm having real trouble taking professional looking photos of a product. I purchased a light-box and I am using my Nikon D40 but the results are just don't seem good enough. I've also attempted to ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What is “feathering” a light?

When I read instructions about lighting setups, I often see reference to to "feathering" this or that light. I have some ideas what that means: for example, I imagine taking a flashlight and ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I choose a reliable, cheap, portable light stand and umbrella?

This holiday season, I've made a project for myself in getting started with strobist photography. So far, all I have in terms of strobist equipment is a Nikon D80 and a Nikon SB-800. I've previously ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I achieve smooth light falloff in portraits?

I'm having trouble getting a nice, smooth light falloff when shooting portraits. If you look at the left side of David Hobby's beautiful portrait, thats the effect I am trying to achieve. I have ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

How to select a light meter?

I'm looking for a light meter to use with an old film camera that doesn't have a working meter, and the bevy of options with prices all over the place is a bit overwhelming. I'm trying to narrow down ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is the Fluorescent filter for a flash green?

I just bought a Nikon SB-910 speedlight. The filter that comes with it to use under fluorescent lighting it green, why is this? because certainly to my eye there is not a hint of green under normal ...
15
votes
3answers
921 views

Why is it important to move the flash away from the camera?

I've read that it's not the quality of your camera, but the quality of the lighting that make pictures really good. That is probably not always true, though - there are many crappy cameras out there. ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we use flash in photography?

Why do we use flashes in photography, instead of simple light bulbs etc. to illuminate the scene? Why are specially made flashes used?
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the best approch to photographing a mirror or other highly reflective surface?

I have been asked by a client to take some product photographs of some vintage mirrors that they would like to sell and I am struggling with getting good clear shots of the mirrors. As such, what is ...
11
votes
9answers
5k views

How do I take a portrait at night with detail in the background instead of just blackness?

I was trying to make a photo of my girlfriend around 9 pm with a D7000, Sigma 24-70 2.8, and SB-900. She was in the center of the frame, taking up about 20% of the frame. About 40% was taken up by ...
8
votes
3answers
509 views

Still-life reconstruction considered plagiarism?

I am really bad at still lifes. That is, I never even attempted making one. So I decided to try and make a photo of freshly baked bread. I stumbled across a few amazing shots on the Internet which I ...
8
votes
2answers
569 views

How can I affect color of a water droplet shot?

Experimenting with water droplets today. Pretty fun! I'd like to ask how can I improve upon it. First of all a picture of the setup: Water is contained within a plastic bag that is taped to a ...
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
2k views

How to photograph live stage shows?

Whenever I try to take pictures of actors in a stage show, the colors always end up looking wrong. I assume it's something to do with the abnormal lighting—we don't have peach, blue, green, and amber ...
7
votes
4answers
293 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?
7
votes
2answers
445 views

What shutter speeds should I use for cars in motion and slow-sync flash?

I'm an amateur with a Canon EOS 400D/Rebel xti. I know that any given shot requires it's own recipe for shutter speed, ISO and aperture, and I'm aware of the triad of those three. I typically shoot ...
6
votes
4answers
770 views

Does adding additional strobes cumulatively add to the flash power?

I've been reading articles that talk about using multiple strobes next to each other, all pointing in the same direction: as a means to add more light over what one flash can do. Does the addition of ...
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?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you set the power for a flash in manual mode?

How do you calculate the flash power fraction, assuming you want to keep constant the other variables of ISO, aperture, and distance from subject to flash? The Guide Number formula for a flash ...
4
votes
4answers
640 views

Is there a fundamental difference between emitted light and reflected light?

In the context of practical implications for photography, is there a general difference in the qualities of emitted vs. reflected light (other than emitted light being brighter in many situations)? I ...
3
votes
5answers
733 views

How does light quality vary between fluorescent (CFL) and incandescent?

I have two sets of soft boxes. One has incandescent bulbs (3,200k) and the other uses compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL @ 5,500K). I'm trying to sort out some of my understandings regarding the light ...
2
votes
2answers
404 views

How to do lighting for product photography of scrapbooking stuff?

I have tried to do some simple product photographing. It is mainly some scrapbooking stuff my wife has produced, like candles and gift cards. Up until now I have been using my Nikon SB-700 for ...
17
votes
2answers
758 views

Why do I see this yellow color shift at high ISOs and fast shutter speeds? [duplicate]

I recently purchased a full-frame DSLR with a reported highest ISO of 204,800. I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the high ISO range and how far Lightroom and Aperture (I use each of them) can ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it better to have light come from the left side?

In this comment to a question about composing landscape photographs, Esa Paulasto says About the direction of light, whenever you have a choice in it, have the light come from left side. I have ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I get a black background in daylight using flash sync speed with no extra gear?

I have seen sports photography where the background is completely wiped out (black) during daylight. I'm trying to achieve a similar (pure black background) effect with no extra gear, just a DSLR ...
10
votes
2answers
902 views

How can I recreate this glowing light effect?

How to have a glowing light ray effect outside some object like in this photo Edit Using photoshop to get this effect ?
8
votes
3answers
248 views

How to photograph flat plastic in an “interesting” way to show off its properties?

At work we are currently in the process of photographing samples of materials. The idea is to photograph them to show their structure/properties more than their shape (i.e. if we have a steel cog, we ...
8
votes
1answer
258 views

What continuous light technology gives light most suitable for photo lighting?

I have started to look around for a flashlight (a handheld torch, not speedlight) to selectively light scenes during long exposures, but the wide selection of technologies used in bulbs puzzles me. ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good softbox for small hotshoe flash?

What are the good softboxes for a small flash like a Canon Speedlite 430EX, for example?
7
votes
1answer
419 views

What lighting and pre- or post-processing is required for a high key image?

The definition of high key photographs is thoroughly answered by @mattdm. What I understood is that a light toned subject is the most important requirement to take a high key image. However, it seems ...
7
votes
1answer
669 views

Portrait photography of children (Christmas)

I floated an offer to my family to photograph my neices and nephews for Christmas. Now, we're doing this with plenty of time for them to get professional work done if mine don't really come out great, ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Is it OK to use different kinds of strobes together?

I currently have 2 Vivitar 285 strobes. These are working very nicely for me. I would like to buy 2 more strobes, and I would be quite happy with the Vivitars, but I would also like to consider ...
7
votes
3answers
323 views

Camera with good linear light response for photometric accuracy?

I want to photograph rooms and spaces indoors, and covered areas outdoors, and get good measurements of illumination. Light sources will be sun, sky, and artificial. Another use is to photograph ...
6
votes
4answers
474 views

In low light, does it make sense to use a normal house light bulb instead of a flash?

Actually, yesterday I shot a photograph indoors with a tubelight (on the wall) and a flash on. The results were "too" boring. The flash had robbed away all the natural looks of the scene. Does ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

Does the wide-angle diffuser on a flash help reduce hotspots when used in a small softbox?

Many speedlight-style flashes have a pull-out / flip-down wide angle panel built in. This isn't really meant as a light modifier, but is intended to help the flash provide better coverage at wide ...
4
votes
1answer
269 views

What are options for macro lighting?

What options are there for additional lighting with macro subjects? The subjects are often so close to the lens that leaving the flash in the hot shoe or just ambient light often gets blocked. ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

What non-studio lights are best for photography?

I don't have a studio, nor I want studio lights. I am interested in knowing which "kinds" of light "bulbs" should I purchase for my "table lamp" for indoor photography? Are there some particular ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the best way to take cityscape photos on a night boat cruise?

I'm going on a boat cruise tonight in London. What's the best way to take photos of the riverbanks from the boat at night? My kit includes: Nikon D7000 Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ...
4
votes
4answers
952 views

How can I reduce “ghost images” of water droplets?

I am interested in taking the photo of spray of droplets. I also want to measure their size. I have captured a streak-type image of each and every water droplet coming from the nozzle. If you observe ...