18 votes

Are mirrors viable as replacement for light sources?

Since you plan to take macro shots, a folded piece of paper just outside the frame might be a huge, soft light source compared to the object in the picture. Here's an example: And the resulting shot: ...
Eric Duminil's user avatar
  • 2,273
16 votes

Are mirrors viable as replacement for light sources?

Mirrors are going to make the light more of a point-source, as it's 'twice' as far away, therefore more parallel. You'd also have to be quite precise in their placement. It would probably be cheaper, ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 23.3k
14 votes
Accepted

Why is there a bright edge in my photos even though my studio lights provide even coverage?

You haven't told us exactly which Paul Buff Alien Bees flashes you're using, but many studio flashes take longer to release their energy than most speedlights do. For the most part, camera's flash ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
12 votes
Accepted

How do I get rid of this orange tint and reflection while keeping my label well lit and visible?

What's illuminating the softbox in the background? I assume not just the strobes? Whatever it is, you probably need to reduce its intensity until it's just barely saturating. The brighter the ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
12 votes

Why is there a bright edge in my photos even though my studio lights provide even coverage?

Sounds like a syncing problem, your shutter speed might be too fast to fully catch the frame. Try decreasing the shutter speed. It looks like the rear curtain is starting to close before the flash has ...
LightBender's user avatar
  • 3,181
11 votes

Photographing glass - light 'quality'?

It's hard to say which is the best approach because, as usual, it depends on what you're trying to convey. However, I think the book Light—Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting ...
Marcos's user avatar
  • 136
9 votes

Shooting glass product with embossment

Two things seem apparent to me looking at this setup. First, the position of the subject appears to be a little further from the camera than the lights. Before you fool with the position of any ...
Stan's user avatar
  • 5,521
9 votes

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

Essentially this is product photography. I doubt bones require special treatment since they are not very specular. The easiest way it to use a light tent over a glass table with a light from below ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 103k
8 votes

Why is my histogram missing the mid tones?

There is no such thing as a "good" or "correct" histogram... the shape and placement of the histogram should reflect the subject/scene recorded. E.g. that histogram looks about right for a picture of ...
Steven Kersting's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Why do my studio shoots usually end up fuzzy?

You have flare. That's the light wrapping around the edges of her body, particularly pronounced in her left (camera right) armpit and hand. The background is spilling too much light onto her. Light ...
Jeremy S.'s user avatar
  • 563
7 votes
Accepted

How was this Penelope Cruz photo by Peter Lindbergh lit?

If you look very closely at the reflection in the eye, you see that the (camera) right side of the eye is not reflecting anything. This isn't due to post processing. You can almost make out what ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
7 votes

How do I light a balloon in a studio without getting reflections from the light sources?

Unless you have a matt ballon which I never ever have seen, you will have a reflection. The point is what reflection you can handle. If you do not want a hotspot, use as Romero Ninov said a softbox. ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 24.8k
7 votes

Will a CTO (or CTB) Gel improve the CRI of a light source

Filters don't add anything, they only attenuate (reduce) part of what is already there more than they reduce other parts of what is already there. If the light source has a low CRI due to missing ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
6 votes

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

Without getting into the mathematics of the situation which is covered by others with graphs and equations, let me try to clarify the difference between these two different aspects of the lighting. ...
Stan's user avatar
  • 5,521
6 votes

Capturing the full effect of iridescent/"holo" nail polish

Think of what happens when a rainbow forms: zillions of water droplets are scattered through the air refracting light. You see a rainbow because light from the sun is very directional and makes all ...
Caleb's user avatar
  • 31.7k
6 votes
Accepted

How can I photograph reflective surfaces without the camera being visible?

Put your glass vertically so that you can see through it (A). Put a piece of black cloth far away behind the glass (B). Put a flash on top of the glass, almost (C). Use some cardboard or some ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 24.8k
6 votes

How was this Penelope Cruz photo by Peter Lindbergh lit?

If you watch the making of video you notice that she's surrounded by black cards and when she walks forward on the set the light falloff increases very quickly. This is an indication of either a very ...
user62550's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Can an off-camera speedlight work for learning basic off-camera lighting?

Yes, a so-called Strobist setup (a radio controlled off-camera hotshoe flash/speedlight) can be great for learning and experimenting with basic off-camera lighting, even while it won't deliver the ...
inkista's user avatar
  • 52.1k
6 votes

How do I get rid of this orange tint and reflection while keeping my label well lit and visible?

Your primary issue is that your lighting ratios are wrong... you have more light coming through the bottle from the background than you have hitting the label from the front. This is a common mistake....
Steven Kersting's user avatar
6 votes

Will a CTO (or CTB) Gel improve the CRI of a light source

Someone is going to come along with better 'numbers' for this, but imagine the Histogram of a picture of a clown in a flower garden. Then add a slope [filter] to that histogram. You still have a very ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 23.3k
6 votes

How can I preview exposure and autofocus with flash in a low light studio?

You simply cannot preview the exposure of light that does not exist at that moment. You had modeling lights on, which is about the best you can do. You do not have to use such a dimly lit studio ...
Steven Kersting's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why accurately measure incident light in studio photography?

Reflected light meters by necessity assume a normal reflectance level. At one time this was referred to as 18 percent gray but the exact value is commonly disputed. The average reflectance level is ...
user10216038's user avatar
  • 2,239
6 votes

Understanding the lighting on Peter Lippmann's noble rot series

That lighting is very easy to create... it's called "falloff," the rate at which the light intensity decays over distance. To create a very fast falloff you just need to place the light ...
Steven Kersting's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What lighting would help me re-create this picture?

That's fairly obviously a single hard light (no modifier) directly above the optical axis of the lens. The flash could either be a significant distance above the camera or it could be a camera mounted ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
5 votes

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

Low key photography is about using less light than you would usually do to correctly expose a shot and thus creating a darker image. Low key photography can be done outside of a studio(and you can ...
dannemp's user avatar
  • 577
5 votes

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

Lighting in photography is about ratios, not intensity. You can pretty much expose anything to make it low key but I understand that what you want is to have a darker background than your subject. ...
Itai's user avatar
  • 103k
5 votes

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

If the bones are not thick, using a paper scanner might produce much better results than taking a photo. You can even add some bright-color background paper to remove the background in Photoshop ...
Similar pictures's user avatar
5 votes

Is there a rule of thumb for balancing a boom on light stand?

Any rule of thumb would be dependent on the physical build of the boom, and I doubt that is standardized enough to give a generic guideline. However, as an R&D engineer who also does photography, ...
ZenGeekDad's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is considered a good quality for consistent white balance in a flash/strobe?

Flash white balance varies with flash power level (depending on power range, typically at least 200K, more likely 400K to 1/32 power, from high to low power, and is the probable intended meaning of ...
WayneF's user avatar
  • 12.9k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible