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by garik

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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

33
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5answers
8k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
68
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
56
votes
4answers
44k 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?
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?
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is color temperature and how does it affect my photography?

I have seen color temperature mentioned with regard to white balance, mixing different sources of light, etc., but I haven't come across a clear explanation of what it means to talk about the ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the best practices for taking pictures of a canvas?

Please share your experience about: Lighting Objectives Setup Colorimetry Photo-Editing ...
13
votes
7answers
10k views

How do I properly do shadowless product photos?

My friend asked me to create a photo like this. I noticed that its shadowless and my first question is whether it was setup to be shadowless, or was it made shadowless in post? How many lights are ...
20
votes
6answers
959 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
817 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?
71
votes
1answer
8k 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?
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, ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

What should I consider when choosing continuous lighting vs. strobes for studio photography?

If one were to want to get started with studio photography (I'm thinking things like portraits, headshots, perhaps pets, etc) what would be the considerations in choosing whether to go with continuous ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Why invest in high end large- and medium-format digital cameras?

I've been reading about Hasselblad, Mamiya (medium format) and Sinar (large format), both offer lots and lots of megapixels and the frame format. On the other hand, I've been learning about concepts ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition?

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition? For example: If I stand under a sodium-vapour (orange) streetlight and calibrate my camera's white balance, what effect would this ...
12
votes
7answers
700 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
15k 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?
111
votes
7answers
19k 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
4answers
6k views

How do I properly white-balance my photographs when I'm shooting in mixed-lighting environments?

I have a dSLR and I often find myself taking pictures of people in 'mixed lighting' environments (e.g. tungsten lighting and daylight, fluorescent and tungsten, or even the ‘nightmare lighting ...
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?
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/. ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I get a “Film” look with a digital camera?

What can I do, in terms of lightning, to make Digital look like Film? By that I mean a "dreamy" sort of look. Does it has to do with the color temperature? the setup?
9
votes
1answer
500 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
317 views

How can one capture gun bore shots?

How can one capture shots like this where a long, small tube like a gun bore is evenly illuminated along its length? In this sample the harsh reflections off the breach suggest it was illuminated ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I best take pictures of paintings?

I am thinking of purchasing a AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm F2.8 for my Nikon D5000 in order to shoot food and paintings. Regarding paintings I am unsure how this should be done : Lighting : pro'lly no ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the best techniques for making great photographs of LEGO creations?

There are better and worse photos of LEGO creations out there. What techniques give better photos? It seems hard to photograph LEGO blocks because they are shiny.
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Best fluorescent bulb color temperature for shooting people and interviews?

I have a small, ultra white matte 13x10 room that I need to photograph and film people in. The most important thing to me is a person's skin color. Something like this. Yesterday I purchased some ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
658 views

Is there a difference between a large, far light source, and a small, close one?

As I was doing my reverse engineering of the lighting for this question, I wondered whether there's any discernable difference between a large light modifier far away versus a small light modifier ...
10
votes
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"?
2
votes
2answers
359 views

Product Photography without a Light Tent?

I am going to be doing some product photography but I am running into an issue. This issue is achieving the proper lighting. My ideal setup would be a light tent with a few lights and my issues would ...
12
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
751 views

What white balance settings do I need to capture the cast of a coloured streetlight?

I want take a photo of a scene lit by a yellow-orange street light. Unlike many of the questions here, I don't want to balance the colours in the scene, rather I want the areas lit by that light to ...
6
votes
3answers
538 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How to calculate Lux from EV?

Instead of looking up a chart, how can I calculate Lux from EV? Thanks!
3
votes
2answers
736 views

What advice would you give for taking photos on a boat cruise at night?

Tomorrow I will be going on a boat cruise in the evening in London. I will no doubt be looking for photo opportunities on the boat, both of people, as well as the landmarks/surroundings. I'm pretty ...
21
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I handle two extremely different brightnesses in the same picture?

I am the fresh owner of my first DSLR (a Canon EOS 600D, as far as I know called Rebel T3i in the USA). I'm a total newbie, and the camera is a lot smarter than me most of the time. But I'm trying to ...
13
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

In portrait photography, what is a “catchlight”?

In portrait photography, what is a "catch light"? Is it good or bad? How do I produce or avoid them? Are some kinds better than others?
17
votes
3answers
2k 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?
16
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
1answer
8k 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?
13
votes
3answers
718 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
302 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

When and how to use a push-on flash diffuser?

I've bought a cheap flash on eBay and got this fancy flash diffuser as a free gift: So, what are the effects of a light diffuser like this one? What difference does it make to the resulting photo? ...
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
5answers
14k 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?
16
votes
4answers
882 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 ...
14
votes
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 ...