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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171 votes
8 answers
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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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117 votes
1 answer
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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
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
82 votes
8 answers
40k 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 "...
seanmc's user avatar
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47 votes
4 answers
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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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45 votes
5 answers
17k 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, ...
mattdm's user avatar
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43 votes
1 answer
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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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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
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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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
32 votes
6 answers
33k views

How do mountains affect lighting at sunrise and sunset?

I just got back from a trip in the Rockies. The tall and close mountains mean that the sun sets earlier than flatter places at the same latitude -- perhaps by an hour or so. The same applies to ...
Craig Walker'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
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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27 votes
4 answers
7k 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?
rfusca's user avatar
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27 votes
6 answers
14k views

Is it better to have light come from the left side?

In this comment to a question about composing landscape photographs, Esa Paulasto says About the direction of light, whenever you have a choice in it, have the light come from left side. I have ...
mattdm's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
5k views

How do they capture these images where the ground and background blend together seamlessly?

This picture of Wulfenite was selected as today’s featured image on Wikipedia and I find it intriguing in the sense that the ground and background blend in so much, similar to what we see near large ...
Stephen Cook'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
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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25 votes
9 answers
4k views

What can I do to take better/more interesting photographs of tabletop games?

I do a lot of writing about tabletop games, some of it paid, professional work. Often, editors ask that I also supply photographs of the games in play to illustrate the articles. I know very little ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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25 votes
2 answers
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 ...
iamjonesy's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to photograph smoke?

I have been trying to get images of smoke against a black background. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to do this and a good lens choice and lighting set up for the job?
Paul Round's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
4k 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: ...
jlpp's user avatar
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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
23 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
Sean Moubry'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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22 votes
3 answers
2k 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?
AJ Finch's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
5k 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?
Evan Krall's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
5k views

How was this interior room photo lit? Window...Strobes...Both?

I would like to understand how this scene is lit: I can see that sunlight is coming from two big windows on the right. But is there some kind of studio equipment, like a soft box or something similar ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 211
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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21 votes
4 answers
2k views

Portrait Lighting - why are my fill and rim lights overpowered?

I am a beginner in photography and starting to learn about lights in portraiture. In this portrait below, I am using a home-made soft box with a flash inside (on the right), and two 5000K bulbs at ...
Santy.8128's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Craig Walker's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
584 views

When were white seamless backgrounds and platforms first used in studio lighting?

Amazon has just been granted a patent on the method for using: A white seamless background An elevated platform Rear-facing lights ...in order to make the entire background and platform disappear ...
Craig Walker's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
7k views

How to create the type of lighting that is used in many of Elena Shumilova's pictures?

Elena Shumilova posts a number of photos online. Many of her images have this sort of signature airy, soft, glowing lighting. This is good example. How would I go about recreating this type of ...
user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
28k 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?)
che's user avatar
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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
  • 405
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
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
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
4 answers
3k 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.
Si Keep's user avatar
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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
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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
  • 939
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
  • 1,757
18 votes
3 answers
25k views

How to photograph people with a prominent (wide, big) nose?

One of my friends wants me to take pictures of her but she is very self-conscious about her nose (which is relatively wide, Monty Python anyone?). She wants me to take pictures in such a way as to ...
Viv's user avatar
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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
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17 votes
8 answers
54k views

How to avoid objects casting shadows when taking pictures of products?

I am starting my own business and need to take photos of my products. However, the lighting in my apartment is not that great and it is also cloudy and rainy outside, so no sunlight in here or ...
Ghazal's user avatar
  • 187
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
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
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
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

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
17 votes
3 answers
2k 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. ;...
Vetle's user avatar
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