Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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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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18
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3answers
3k 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?
15
votes
3answers
890 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
2k 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, ...
18
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

How to photograph sparkly objects?

I've been having the hardest time photographing objects that are encrusted in rhinestones and capturing their sparkle. My understanding of sparkle is that it comes from two components: the dynamic ...
9
votes
5answers
38k views

How to avoid reflection when taking a picture of a ceramic object with a shiny glaze?

How can I avoid the reflection when I take a picture of a shiny object in bright light?
9
votes
1answer
356 views

What steps do I need to take to deconstruct the lighting of a portrait?

In general, what steps should I take to deconstruct the lighting on a portrait that somebody else took? Are there certain things I should look for that provide visual clues? What can I look for ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I build a portable light box for shooting beer bottles?

I am working on a beer related website, and I would like to build a portable light box that I can take to a beer shop and photograph as many individual beer bottles as possible. What is the best way ...
4
votes
3answers
301 views

How to recognize different lighting color temperatures?

I'm getting my first "real" flash soon, and I've been studying a bit about lighting techniques. However, the flash comes with little colored plastic covers to match the color of the environment's ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How does histogram shape affect the aesthetics of a picture?

For having more contrast in an image, it's good to have a wide range (i.e. difference between highest and lowest) of light intensities in a picture; and for keeping details, neither highlights nor ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

What's the technical difference between artificial and natural light?

Comments like this one got me wondering... Assuming two light sources of equal size and relative intensity (let's say as an example monolights and the sun) and assuming that you're shooting raw to ...
5
votes
3answers
933 views

How should I light 2d artwork in a makeshift studio? What lighting products do I need?

Thanks to previous advice, I'm going to start photographing my 2d artwork (not behind glass) using the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. I'm operating in a room with no natural light so I have complete control ...
5
votes
2answers
671 views

What is term for the opposite of “Dragging the Shutter”?

My first helpful experiments with flash started after taking a seminar with Scott Kelby on the subject. I don't recall him mentioning dragging the shutter (but he may have). But, I do recall him ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the Deflector Plate recommended when using a Westcott Rapid Box with the cover on?

I recently added a Westcott Rapid Box 10"×24" Strip to my setup, and am really happy with how it lives up to the "rapid" name, and when in use takes up a lot less area in my cramped working space. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
534 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

How to take photos of large groups (over 100 people)?

I recently had been called to take a photo of a 100+ group. The photos were taken inside with some bright lighting. Subjects were sitting in 4 rows of a choir seats. There were fluorescent and flood ...
8
votes
1answer
580 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Profile Silhouettes and Rim Lights: How to Do it Right?

I am new to photography (less than a year) and I am reading Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book. I tried applying his profile silhouette technique but can't. The transcript in the book requires ...
5
votes
4answers
673 views

How can I best take portraits in strong sunlight, without a flash or reflector?

When on the road as a tourist, I often do not carry a reflector of flash. Now I am at a location with very strong sunlight and I want to take a photo of a companion in front of a nice scenery or ...
4
votes
3answers
782 views

What type of lighting would provide slightly more contrast than a softbox for product photography?

I am a self-trained amateur and shoot product photography for my clothing company. My typical set-up is 2 500-watt continuous softboxes, lighting a product from above with each light just to the left ...
4
votes
0answers
213 views

How can I capture both sparkle and detail when photographing jewelry? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the key things to think about when photographing jewelry? I have some shiny stone studded bangles and diamond rings. I want to capture both the "sparkle" as well ...
4
votes
4answers
469 views

Are there any situations in which it makes sense to raise the ISO in bright daylight?

Are there any situations in which it makes sense to raise the ISO in bright day light? For example, this pic has been taken in bright day light with ISO 3200, f18, 1/1250: http://1x.com/#!/forum/...
3
votes
4answers
496 views

How does one do light painting with in focus subject? Maybe a composite?

I understand and have tried some rudimentary light painting, but I'm still not sure how one might achieve something like the photos here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/18221422 Is this ...
3
votes
2answers
545 views

How can one light something in the foreground well while metering for lightning in the background?

A friend asked me how the lighting in this picture could possibly achieved: Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/10/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year-2012/100392/ The description leads ...
2
votes
3answers
392 views

How can I get my colours true for product photography?

I am struggling to get some colours correct in my product photography. I have used a gray card to set a custom white balance and also tried AWB in the camera, but still seem to have trouble getting ...
1
vote
0answers
258 views

What should I do to take good jewellery pictures with a Panasonic FZ45? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I capture both sparkle and detail when photographing jewelry? I want to take good jewelry pictures with my camera (Panasonic FZ45). I currently have two stand ...
0
votes
1answer
187 views

Advice for someone just entering the world of off-camera flash? [closed]

I'm a student photographer (primarily landscape with some portrait experience) looking to get into more serious portrait work; and, more specifically, off camera flash. Hoping this is the right place ...
23
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How to meter to clear subject details with a strongly backlit scene, as Elena Shumilova does?

Looking at the photos from Elena Shumilova on 500px, you can see a clear preference for backlighting and halo effects on many of her subjects. For example, this and this. How do you meter with the ...
28
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
2k 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?
11
votes
3answers
22k 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
1k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Having difficulty lighting various reflective product packaging- use dulling spray?

Beginning photographer, first post- I'm trying to merchandize and shoot a product composition with a lot of beef jerky packages. The crinkly reflective packaging is proving really difficult to light. ...
7
votes
1answer
755 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k 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?
4
votes
2answers
377 views

Will two lights plus octaboxes be a good starter setup for portrait photography, or can I get away with one umbrella?

I want to step into studio lightning for portraits and I'm searching for a good setup. Is it a good option to buy two flashes and octa-boxes (one from left and one from the right) or should one ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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. ;...
15
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
779 views

What are the lighting characteristics of a beauty dish?

How does light from a beauty dish behave, and when and why would you use one?
12
votes
4answers
2k 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?
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
666 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
934 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 tall-...
8
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What should be considered for employee photos to put on company's website?

I work in the entertainment industry and am looking to produce friendly looking images of our employees (sales managers, customer support people, and so on) to put on our company's website. What ...
8
votes
2answers
632 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
889 views

How can I reduce the effect of sodium vapor street lights in night photography?

I would like to light buildings at night using torches etc. How do I reduce the sodium light (street light ) that is cast on it. Can I reduce it with a filter and if so which one?