Questions tagged [lighting]

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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82 votes
8 answers
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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 "...
seanmc's user avatar
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45 votes
5 answers
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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, ...
mattdm's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Best ways of photographing at a concert/festival

Lighting at concerts is usually very difficult to manage. My photos always end up blurry/needing an awful lot of post-processing afterwards. What would be the objective best way to shoot these ...
bearmohawk's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
5k 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 '...
Sean's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
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What are the best practices for taking pictures of a canvas?

Please share your experience about: Lighting Objectives Setup Colorimetry Photo-Editing ...
Pierre-Jean Coudert's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
47k 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 ...
rabbid's user avatar
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37 votes
5 answers
19k views

How to white-balance photos shot 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 ...
Jay Lance Photography's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
2k 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?
drewm's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to cancel purple stage lighting on subjects?

HI! So, I shot a live band that played under purple stage lights. Most acts have strong colored LED lights affecting the subject's skin and I'd like to know how to tone these colors down when I'm ...
PHorstman's user avatar
84 votes
4 answers
85k 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?
Jay Lance Photography's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
Jaydles's user avatar
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171 votes
8 answers
39k 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 people....
rfusca's user avatar
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47 votes
4 answers
19k 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, but ...
Maynard Case's user avatar
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43 votes
1 answer
13k 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 ...
BBischof's user avatar
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27 votes
10 answers
17k 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?
Aristos's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
gjb's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Andrei Rînea's user avatar
117 votes
1 answer
19k 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?
Jay Lance Photography's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
36k 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?
Jay Lance Photography's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Diego's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
16k views

How to calculate Lux from EV?

Instead of looking up a chart, how can I calculate Lux from EV?
ohho's user avatar
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21 votes
6 answers
1k 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 ...
PradeepGB's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
25k 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? ...
Nir's user avatar
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15 votes
10 answers
52k 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 ...
anonymous's user avatar
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14 votes
7 answers
7k 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 ...
ahockley's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
42k 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 ...
Steve Pomeroy's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
mattdm's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
JamesBriggs's user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
10k views

How can I create this 'medieval look' using an entry-level camera like the Nikon D3300?

How do recreate pictures like the ones below? They all appear to be lit a certain way. The colors are all very similar, with an overall dark, brooding aspect to them. The backgrounds are heavily ...
Glad's user avatar
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26 votes
4 answers
52k 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?
Brig's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
5k 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/. ...
rfusca's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
7 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
fmark's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Jim's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
10k views

Canon 5D Mark III - problems with fluorescent light

This is brand new Canon 5D Mark III. There's green light banding when taking photo or video in the environment with fluorescent light. The first Canon 5D Mark III was returned to the shop. And this is ...
Angkor Wat's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
17k views

How do I get a "Film" look with a digital camera? [closed]

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?
user17252's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
4k views

How does light quality vary between fluorescent (CFL) and incandescent?

I have two sets of soft boxes. One has incandescent bulbs (3,200k) and the other uses compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL @ 5,500K). I'm trying to sort out some of my understandings regarding the light ...
Ryan Griffith's user avatar
33 votes
6 answers
16k 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.
Erik Olson's user avatar
30 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Aquarius_Girl's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Arsen Zahray's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
15k views

How could I have counteracted purple lighting?

I recently shot an event using just a standard Nikon D3200 with kit lens. Nothing special, but it did the job. The only obstacle was that the event made heavy use of a strong purple lighting which ...
HourglassPhoto's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
13k 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"?
Eddie Deyo's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
9k views

How do I take a portrait at night with detail in the background instead of just blackness?

I was trying to make a photo of my girlfriend around 9 pm with a D7000, Sigma 24-70 2.8, and SB-900. She was in the center of the frame, taking up about 20% of the frame. About 40% was taken up by ...
user278618's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
390 views

Do colored LED lights produce less illuminance than traditional spotlights?

I'm shooting theater plays and starting to shoot some alternative fashion shows. Many colored lights these days are LEDs, not white + gel as they used to be. Let's simplify things a bit and consider ...
Carlos Irineu's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
22k 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 ...
xsaero00's user avatar
  • 335
19 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
jfklein13's user avatar
  • 3,872
18 votes
2 answers
24k 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?
rfusca's user avatar
  • 26.5k
17 votes
5 answers
25k 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. Something like this. The most important thing to me is accurately depicting a person's skin color. Yesterday ...
Xeoncross's user avatar
  • 793
17 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Imre's user avatar
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