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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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
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4answers
335 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is “dark field lighting” and why is it used?

I've seen the term "dark field lighting" a few times and was wondering why its used and how you do it? An example (by one of our members no less) http://www.flickr.com/photos/spqr_ca/5362714988/. ...
9
votes
1answer
521 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the different kind of light modifiers and their uses?

Particularly with an emphasis on studio setups and portraits, what are the different kind of light modifiers (softboxes, umbrellas, etc) and what are they used for? For bonus points, what kinds of ...
9
votes
2answers
664 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
9k views

What is a kicker?

In lighting, what is a kicker and when should I use it? (And is it any different from hair light?)
7
votes
3answers
5k 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?
13
votes
3answers
730 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
12k 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?
18
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: ...
14
votes
1answer
9k 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?
58
votes
4answers
46k 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?
74
votes
1answer
9k 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?
114
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I get an advertisement-like photo of a pint of Guinness?

I'm a massive Guinness fan and want to take a close up of the dark cloudy texture you get when you pour a glass. I've seen it in the adverts and just want to experiment. I have a limited-edition pint ...
8
votes
1answer
438 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
305 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?
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I suspend something without seeing the wires?

I had an idea that will require suspending a small household object (a flashlight, in this case) off the ground. It weighs only a few pounds but will be part of the shot so I can't put it on top of ...
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. ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I get photos showing the “shaft of light” effect?

I would like to be able to capture a photo which shows light shafts coming through the window. A famous example is this: I'm guessing this involves a tripod, a long exposure and strong sunlight, ...
7
votes
1answer
686 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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?
33
votes
1answer
10k views

How does one create the Dave Hill effect for portraits/action shots?

Inspired by the question here by sebastian.b, and the response to the subsequent meta question. I would like to ask how to achieve a specific photo effect. There may be more photographers that pull ...
19
votes
4answers
17k views

What does TTL mean?

I'm new to photography and I see the term TTL all over the place. What does it mean? And how do I use it to make my pictures better?
4
votes
5answers
448 views

How can you show texture?

I would like to know how to achieve those pictures in which texture shows up well. I am specifically thinking of portraits of the elderly in which the skin looks very wrinkled and in B&W looks ...
20
votes
6answers
976 views

How do I manage good photos of babies and kids?

Apart from the strain they create by not sitting in one place while in photo shoot, kids do make nice subjects for pictures. I have been trying various scenes, props, etc., to get the best out of my ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is my picture muddy looking?

I've noticed a lot of my pictures look muddy. They don't have very high contrast. I know I can post process some pictures, but what is the secret to having nice contrast in a picture?
69
votes
6answers
13k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
12
votes
2answers
7k 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
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
680 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
5answers
16k 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
862 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.
7
votes
2answers
179 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
585 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
798 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
votes
7answers
746 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
votes
1answer
288 views

What is lighting ratio?

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?
7
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
615 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
votes
2answers
5k 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
262 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
815 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 ...