14 votes

Why pay for specialist studio photography lighting aka strobes when you can use continuous light sources which are more powerful and cheaper?

Studio strobes are actually much, much, EXTREMELY MUCH more powerful than any remotely sane continuous lighting setup (at lighting scenes for photography). This is because a strobe delivers its ...
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14 votes
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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 ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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11 votes
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What are the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography?

Note: the content originally written for Stack Exchange is also published on my own website photo.pelicandd.com. Although the content is the same, the website contains interactive illustrations which ...
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10 votes

How to get beautiful even and soft lighting on face?

Editing out the eyes removes a metric tonne of information that might have been helpful in answering your question — please don't do that if you're asking about studio lighting problems — but there is ...
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  • 1,226
10 votes
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What are the connectors like on a "standard light stand"?

There are two basic connectors you will generally find on light stands. First, a 3/8-16 UNC thread (that's 3/8", 16 threads per inch). This is, fortunately, basically standardized in all such gear. ...
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  • 140k
10 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 ...
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  • 126
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 ...
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  • 5,385
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 ...
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  • 101k
8 votes

Product Photography: White object on white background producing white halo

The halo you describe is actually a reflection either from the background or from the rearmost umbrellas. (The silver lined ones in the picture). Remember that when light bounces off a surface it ...
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  • 2,164
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 ...
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7 votes

Why are professional flashes so expensive?

I don't know your special situation, you did say high energy, but I don't know scale. You want a fast shutter so I assume you want a high speed photo. Perhaps you may need significantly greater power,...
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  • 12.5k
7 votes

How do I auto-focus an EOS M when stopped down to kill the ambient?

You need to disable exposure simulation. The EOS M doesn't have a menu option for this but it is disabled with an ETTL flash or ETTL trigger in the hotshoe. (actually any Canon "dedicated" flash ...
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  • 11.4k
7 votes
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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 ...
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  • 167k
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. ...
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  • 20.7k
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 ...
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  • 167k
6 votes

How do I attach a softbox to a rectangular fluorescent head?

A regular softbox is not going to fit on this type of light. They are designed for strobes with a single bulb which acts as a point light source and attach via a small hole in the back. This light ...
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  • 117k
6 votes

Can studio light be as good as sunlight?

Sunlight is good but, as you note, it is also variable. By using a good high CRI ("Color rendering index")source, as James Snell notes, and by doing tests with white balance, you will be able to get ...
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6 votes

Why would you have a light meter chose your aperture for you?

When we talk about flash photography; this is because the shutter speed does not contribute to the exposure from the flash. A flash will output a burst which last maybe 1/1000s, so changing the ...
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  • 206
6 votes
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Will two lights plus octaboxes be a good starter setup for portrait photography, or can I get away with one umbrella?

There are two basic techniques in the photo you reference: First, it uses "clamshell" or "butterfly" lighting — see What is butterfly lighting, and when do I use it? for more. You can easily see this ...
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  • 140k
6 votes
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Who was the first to introduce a beauty dish?

I am not sure about who used the Beauty Dish for photography first, but the principle of evenly illumination via secondary reflection is accredited to danish mathematician Piet Hein, who constructed ...
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6 votes
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Can I use auto exposure with studio lights?

Sorry, there is no way to make older studio strobes automatic, or even semi-automatic. You must use Manual mode for every photo. 1/200 is the max sync speed on your camera, but when using radio ...
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  • 11.4k
6 votes
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Tungsten vs Quartz lighting: what is the difference?

There is possibly some confusion here but I need to clarify that Quartz bulbs ARE tungsten filament bulbs as well (both "incandescent" bulbs - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incandescent_light_bulb) "...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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  • 5,385
6 votes
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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 ...
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  • 20.7k
6 votes
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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 ...
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  • 533
6 votes
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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 ...
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