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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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 ...
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
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5answers
13k 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?
14
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2answers
1k views

How to avoid glare in macro photography?

I am attempting to take pictures of antique pocket watches, when I use my flash, even with a diffuser or farther away, I get glare from the curved elements within the watch. Are there any sites with ...
16
votes
3answers
785 views

What are the disadvantages of using a diffuser on a flash?

I am thinking of using a diffuser on my canon speedlight flash to soften harsh shadows when shooting indoors. I was wondering what the disadvantages of this might be.
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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
1answer
571 views

Photoshoot lighting on a shoestring budget?

I've just about used every cent I can afford on my DSLR and an extra lens and a tripod and a friend of mine suggested I come along and do a casual photo shoot of two bands that are staying at her ...
13
votes
3answers
744 views

How do cheap macro ring flashes perform?

When I last checked years ago, the price of a typical Ring flash unit was approximately $500. Nowadays there are still ring flashes for approx. $500 like Pentax AF160FC, Pentax AF-140C, Canon MR-14EX, ...
12
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7answers
667 views

What are the key things to think about when photographing jewelry?

I'm trying to help my wife take some pictures of jewelry she made. It's not for commercial use, but think of the photos we're going for as being similar to what one might want for a commercial shot ...
8
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1answer
284 views

What is lighting ratio?

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?
7
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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 ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How to get this colorful look in a landscape photo?

I love the colors in this photostream on Flickr, especially this photo and this one. How can I get colors like this in my photos? Is this done with post processing? Good luck? The lighting looks like ...
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 ...
9
votes
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?
16
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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
258 views

Does UV light pass through the fabric of a softbox?

Studio flash makers sell both bare flash tubes and flash tubes with a UV coating to block the UV emissions. Quite a few studio monolights come up on eBay without the UV coating, and I'm wondering if ...
10
votes
3answers
760 views

Does the zoom head position of a flash matter when shooting through an umbrella?

It seems like a hotshoe flash's zoom head position might factor in to the lighting pattern when shooting through an umbrella. In the wide beam position, I expect more even light that one is ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What lighting equipment should I get on a very tight budget?

My birthday is coming up. I have about $150 to spend on some lighting equipment for home studio. I currently have a Nikon D90 and a decent Manfrotto tripod. For my budget, what are my choices? I'm ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What lighting equipment do I need for a high contrast portrait photo?

I am an amateur photographer, and I have little to no experience in shooting studio photos. There is one subject in particular that interests me more than others in that area - high contrast portrait ...
6
votes
5answers
789 views

How do you light the background for chroma key work?

How do you use flashes to achieve an even, well-lit background when photographing a subject against a green or blue chromakey background? One flash, two? What position? What about light modifiers, ...
13
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2answers
797 views

What is the inverse-square law, and how does it apply to lighting for photography?

I hear photographers talk about the inverse-square law, particularly with reference to lighting. What is this law about, and most importantly, how is it applied to lighting for photography?
7
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to gel a large softbox to match ambient

I'm searching suggestions to quickly and easily add a gel to color correct light from a giant softbox to match ambient. In my application I'm using a CTO for tungsten ambient. The equipment I'm ...
11
votes
3answers
871 views

Why do hotshoe flashes use fresnel lens, but studio strobes do not?

I notice that hotshoe flashes (e.g. Nikon SB-800) typically have a Fresnel lens system to focus the light, but studio strobes (e.g. Photogenic Powerlight 1250) do not. What's up with that?
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4answers
4k views

What does a black reflector do?

I'm familiar with using white / silver / gold reflectors to add fill light to a photo. When would you use a black "reflector"?
12
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2answers
557 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?
17
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the 18% gray tone, and how do I make a 18% gray card in Photoshop?

I have heard about 18% gray tone — what is it really, and why 18% (and not 20% or some other value), and how can I make it in Photoshop?
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?
17
votes
3answers
945 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?
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votes
5answers
9k views

Software for creating lighting plans/diagrams?

I'd like to share lighting plans with my crew -- what software exists for creating lighting plans? What are the pros/cons to the different packages? I've been using Microsoft Visio, but there must ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
312 views

What are some precautions to consider when using HMIs?

What are the dos and don'ts of using HMI lights? For example, I've heard you're not supposed to "hot strike" them. Is there anything else I should know about?
13
votes
1answer
851 views

How do I create a (good) Hair Light?

My attempts at creating a hair light have been less than successful; I can get a hint of highlight but nothing like I see in the pro shots. What are the things that I should be adjusting in terms of ...
15
votes
2answers
327 views

Will I see a difference in my photos if I aim my flash to the umbrella axis?

I've seen people over the internet aiming their flashes to the umbrella's axis but haven't seen yet a before and after photo. In my case, the flash aims a bit above the axis. What would be the benefit ...
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
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" ...
13
votes
5answers
929 views

What are the pros and cons of using an optical trigger for external lighting?

I have been reading up on the different kinds of lighting kits out there. I read about using optical triggers for external lighting kits. This would allow me to use my on-camera flash (or a mounted ...