Questions tagged [studio-lighting]

From simple to complicated setups, if it involves the techniques and equipment necessary to artificially light objects or people within the studio environment, it is generally considered to be studio lighting.

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109
votes
1answer
18k 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?
78
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4answers
81k 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?
32
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6answers
12k 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.
23
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3answers
32k 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?
21
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1answer
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 ...
20
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2answers
25k 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?)
20
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5answers
7k views

How can I photograph a reflective convex cylindrical trophy without reflections?

What I need to do: Take a standard "Product Shot" of an old trophy/cup with writing on that doesn't look a complete mess thanks to reflections What I have available to do it: Two radio triggered ...
19
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
18
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2answers
23k 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?
16
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3answers
2k 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?
15
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5answers
2k 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 ...
15
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1answer
21k views

What are standard lighting setups for 2-3 people?

What are some standard lighting setups for two or three people in a group? I just can't think of non-complicated setups that would apply some previously discussed (short, broad, butterfly, split, etc)...
14
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7answers
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 ...
14
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2answers
3k 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 ...
12
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5answers
3k views

How to get started with strobes?

I have a Canon Rebel T2i With a Kit lens and a 50mm 1.8 prime with me. I want to get started with strobes. Now the thing is, I don't have any idea about all the stuffs I'd be needing like the remotes, ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

What lighting effects do the various surfaces of a 5-way reflector produce?

I have a '5 Way Reflector' that I want to use in my photography, which includes the following 5 options: Gold reflective Silver reflective Gold/silver alternating pattern reflective White Scrim/...
11
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1answer
1k 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 ...
11
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2answers
5k views

What is the difference between active and passive fill light?

What is the difference between an active and a passive fill light? I have an assignment that states to "use active or passive fill light" in a picture, but I need some clarification to understand what ...
10
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2answers
4k views

What is a cyclo wall?

I've read photographers write about using a cyclo wall instead of a seamless background. What is a cyclo wall?
10
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2answers
504 views

Does this RGB-patterned reflector have benefits for digital photography?

B2Pro has announced a parabolic umbrella reflector for photographic lighting. The surface of the umbrella is printed with a hexagonal array of red, green, and blue spots: The manufacturer makes the ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Having difficulty lighting various reflective product packaging- use dulling spray?

Beginning photographer, first post- I'm trying to merchandize and shoot a product composition with a lot of beef jerky packages. The crinkly reflective packaging is proving really difficult to light. ...
10
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3answers
11k views

What software can I use for 3D lighting simulation?

I've got a shot in mind that's going to require precise lighting (sources & angles). I'd like to do a lighting simulation. I want place objects & light sources in some sort of 3D virtual ...
9
votes
3answers
7k 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?
9
votes
1answer
377 views

What is lighting ratio?

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?
9
votes
2answers
11k views

What are the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography?

In this great answer, the person explains “one of the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography”—Rembrandt lighting. What are the other four? Where should they be used? What are ...
9
votes
7answers
8k views

How does TTL flash work when there are multiple flashes?

I've been watching a lot of deconstructing videos on how the light is setup. Often times there are 2-3 flashes at the studio. The photographer will say that they are all set to TTL. But how does that ...
8
votes
3answers
800 views

Shooting glass product with embossment

Have been going crazy trying to wrap our heads around our problem for the past 2 weeks trying to find the right equipment settings, position our camera and lights for photoshoot. We need to take ...
8
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5answers
1k 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
339 views

Photographing glass - light 'quality'?

I've read many articles on how to shoot clear glass objects. They seem to be very concerned with how you light it, but not so much how to determine the 'quality' of that light. There also seems to ...
8
votes
4answers
622 views

To take my portrait photography to the next level, should I get a second flashgun or a monolight?

I am a hobbyist and using a Canon 600D with 50mm f/1.8 and 18-135mm lenses. I bought 430EX-II flashgun, and it works great as off-camera flash with the 600D's built in transmitter. I also have a ...
8
votes
1answer
459 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
435 views

Lighting on highly reflective surfaces - chromed Dobro guitar

TL:DR - is there a better/smarter/easier/more convincing way to light this? I've taken on the challenge of photographing a friend's guitar collection. I don't anticipate difficulties with most of it. ...
7
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5answers
2k views

How can I keep light from reaching the background in low key photography? [duplicate]

I'm now at the point where I walk around and see light; its direction, strength, softness, casted shadows etc. Now I'm almost at the point where I also understand it; i.e. the science behind what ...
7
votes
5answers
20k views

What's the technical difference between artificial and natural light?

Comments like this one got me wondering... Assuming two light sources of equal size and relative intensity (let's say as an example monolights and the sun) and assuming that you're shooting raw to ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I get a pure white background in studio photography?

I am a natural light photographer that is venturing into studio/backdrop portraits at the request of some of my clients. I have a portable studio for my needs with a white muslin backdrop. I am ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

High-Key Image Processing

I just came across a great photographer on Facebook and I was literally stunned when I looked over his albums. He had some portraiture work that I would call as "Freaking Awesome"! Here's the gallery: ...
7
votes
3answers
416 views

Home Studio Exercises/Studies?

I have a basic home studio setup now, and I want to get better at using it. So far I've just been shooting away at the dog, and a couple stuffed animals. I really don't have any feel for lighting ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I light someone to make him look evil or Machiavellian?

What would be the best way to use light to make someone's face look evil, creepy or Machiavellian?
7
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2answers
2k views

What does UV coating do for a flash tube?

For studio portrait lighting, is it better to have a UV coated flashtube, or a clear flashtube, and why? Does it make a difference what ambient light there is?
7
votes
1answer
675 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?
6
votes
3answers
275 views

What is the best setup to take skulls / bones pictures?

I need to take pictures of bones (about 40cm) for my study in anthropology but I have too much shadows under the bones, what is for you the best way to take this kind of pictures? I have a DSLR ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 (...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the connectors like on a “standard light stand”?

I am trying to buy some equipment for placing a camera and some lighting over my desktop. And having no physical shops in range and no friends or places to go and ask, all my "research" is via the ...
6
votes
2answers
455 views

Who was the first to introduce a beauty dish?

Who and when first introduced or used a beauty dish? Also known as a softlight reflector. There's a lot of articles on the net on how to use a beauty dish, and on how it is important for fashion and ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How does the inverse square law relate to the softness of light for portraits?

I am a bit confused. I understand that if you want soft lighting for portraits, you need to use a large light source compared to the size of your subject. So, I thought by bringing the light source ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I best photograph white powder so I can later cut it out of the background but keep natural shadows?

I need to photograph white powder in a circle shape and still retain the shadow. I've tried photographing on different coloured backgrounds as shooting on white is too tricky to cut out. The ...
6
votes
3answers
392 views

How can I get full-length 'shadowless' portrait photography?

I have little experience in this field of photography. I would like to get a "shadowless" photo on a gray background. An example of what I want I found on the Internet: Click for full size My ...
6
votes
1answer
783 views

What is the prop setting on studio flashes?

I'm looking into some studio strobes and I came across the Impact Two Monolight Kit, and for the model lamp switch, those lights have "Full", "Off", and "Prop". What does "Prop" mean/do? I can't seem ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I shoot in a studio at the widest apertures?

I ran into a limitation while shooting a newborn baby this weekend. I was indoors next to a set of windows. I was also using an off camera flash on a stand through an umbrella. The flash was a Canon ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How would I setup a portrait of a boxer like these?

A friend of mine has asked me to do some promo shots for a boxer he knows. It's not usually my style, but I have been researching types of shots and wondered how to go about getting these types of ...