Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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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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9
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3answers
404 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
13k 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?
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3answers
2k views

Metering - How to account for the light from the flash

I pretty much use Manual mode (in my Nikon D40) and learning quite a lot from it. Though I understand "Metering" for correct exposure, I've trouble understanding it while using Flash (both in-built as ...
9
votes
1answer
460 views

What are the difference between using a pack and head system versus monolights?

Among mains-powered lighting systems, you can either get a kit with a central power pack, and attached heads, or monolights, each with its own power supply. What are the advantages and disadvantages ...
9
votes
1answer
294 views

What time of day provides the best Natural lighting for Macro Photography?

When using natural lighting in macro photography, what times of day provide the light? Specifically for photographing flowers (but they are not my only subject). Also how is natural lighting used ...
9
votes
1answer
629 views

Learning Fundamental Lighting Concepts?

What are the best resources you have come across (preferably online, but books too) that could help new photographers come to a better understanding of fundamental lighting concepts? I’m especially ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I light and shoot a car interior?

I have been asked to photograph some cars both externally and internally for promotional use in a website and print. I want these images to look high-end, so getting the lighting and general setup ...
9
votes
2answers
629 views

Photographing darker-skinned people

[In the spirit of this question on photographing overweight people, and photographing people with glasses.] What are some tips, tricks and things to look out for when photographing dark-skinned ...
9
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1answer
555 views

How much light is typically lost through an umbrella?

In terms of f-stops, how much light is typically lost when shooting through an umbrella?
8
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1answer
2k views

How was the Blade Runner replicant eye reflection effect done?

I'm trying to recreate the Blade Runner eye reflection effect found in these examples: The closest I've seen is with a flash where the light bounces off in the eye and causes a bright red or ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I prevent light spill from an umbrella?

I've been reading Strobist lately and love the moody half-lit-half-dark effect in a lot of these types of photos. I'm a beginner and have a limited equipment budget, so I got a 45" ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the effects of umbrella size?

I keep seeing shoot thru an reflecting umbrellas in sizes around 33", 36", 42" and even larger. Many of the kits (stand, clamp, umbrella) I see around have the smaller size umbrellas. Strobist.com ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Where can I buy used photo studio equipment?

I am looking for a place to find used or inexpensive photography equipment like tripods, light stands, backdrops, ext.
8
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4answers
3k views

How to set up lighting for stop-motion photography?

I was recently joking around with some friends about building a small gingerbread town, and taking some macro shots of it. My friends came up with the idea of actually doing it, only instead of just ...
8
votes
1answer
284 views

What is lighting ratio?

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What cheap equipment can I use to hold a reflector in place?

Assuming I don't have any friend that help with my photography, what can I do to hold a reflector in position while I shoot? Let's assume that if I'm cheap enough to use a windshield sunshade as a ...
8
votes
6answers
846 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
811 views

Why diffuse a softbox?

I just read "Lessons Learned on The Flash Bus Tour" and saw this image. In it, an assistant is holding some sort of white shoot-through diffuser (I got a similar one in my 5-in-one reflector kit) ...
8
votes
2answers
277 views

Is there software which can identify the lighting in an existing photo?

Is there an application that will take a selected region of a photo, and return its estimate of the lighting parameters required to emulate the lighting conditions in the selected region of the photo? ...
8
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3answers
525 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
3answers
303 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
133 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
263 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?
8
votes
1answer
458 views

How do I create “Rim Lighting” in macro photography?

I enjoy macro photography and have heard of using "Rim Lighting" for higher contrast. How do I achieve this effect?
8
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4answers
486 views

To take my portrait photography to the next level, should I get a second flashgun or a monolight?

I am a hobbyist and using a Canon 600D with 50mm f/1.8 and 18-135mm lenses. I bought 430EX-II flashgun, and it works great as off-camera flash with the 600D's built in transmitter. I also have a ...
8
votes
2answers
605 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
435 views

How do I compare these two lighting systems?

I'm looking into getting a light system. I have been reviewing the light packages on the Elinchrom website, and mostly looking at the D-Lite 4 vs the Quadra Ranger. Besides the price, I would like ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

How do I compare a continuous light panel's brightness vs. flash through a softbox?

I've been following recent developments in light-emitting capacitor technology with interest. This new technology produces a complete-spectrum light (like sunlight or incandescents), instead of the ...
8
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
8
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5answers
237 views

How does TTL flash work when there are multiple flashes?

I've been watching a lot of deconstructing videos on how the light is setup. Often times there are 2-3 flashes at the studio. The photographer will say that they are all set to TTL. But how does that ...
8
votes
1answer
397 views

Is the use of coloured lighting in industrial photography a bit… Passée?

I have been asked to do some photography around an aerospace engineering company, they make parts for planes basically. Having looked at their previous imagery stash, taken i think 2003 ish, the ...
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?
7
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
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
813 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
324 views

Light Tent Recommendations?

I'm looking to buy a smallish light tent (1 or 2 feet on a side) and there seems to be quite an array of options. Are there any that are any better than any others? Or should I just go with whatever ...
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
3answers
168 views

Why do I meter under the chin with a lightmeter?

Every single tutorial or video has advised to meter for a portrait right under the chin. First of all why? If the face is the most important part, wouldn't you meter right at the face? Secondly, I ...
7
votes
1answer
674 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
1answer
510 views

How can I light someone to make him look evil or Machiavellian?

What would be the best way to use light to make someone's face look evil, creepy or Machiavellian?
7
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3answers
341 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
565 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of grids vs. snoots for light control?

Both are, in general, used to control the area that's lit. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of both? When would you prefer one over the other?
7
votes
2answers
455 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
2answers
887 views

How to create a sparkle in the eyes of a portrait shot?

In this photograph I have been told, that the eyes are looking like "black pools", which I do realize now. What should be an ideal placement of ONE artificial light source (lamp/flash), so that ...
7
votes
1answer
444 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
4answers
383 views

Is there a product which provides super-bright continuous light in a small package?

I met a friend of a friend last night who used to be a pro photographer. He had this gimmick that he said was kinda home-made by some shop owner in Singapore. I wish I took a pic of it, but I forgot. ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

Is there a way to get a good sillhouette without a window?

I'm taking maternity photos for a friend tomorrow (first "real" photo shoot!) and I'm hoping to do some sillhouettes, but as far as I know she doesn't have a window that would work well for one. Is ...
7
votes
2answers
172 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
2answers
361 views

How can I make effective use of single portable strobe with direct lighting for an event?

I've been tasked with some event photography this weekend. Although the event will be held inside, the color of the walls prevents me from using bounce flash, so I have to use direct flash with a ...