28 votes
Accepted

Pros and cons of cheap studio strobes vs. hotshoe/speedlight flash for portraits?

Buckle in for a long answer. There are three primary advantages that "studio" flash have over hotshoe flashes. The first, and most obvious is power; even the lower-powered "serious" units (we're not ...
  • 796
28 votes
Accepted

How to capture a swinging pendulum?

Let's look at the last picture. If you want a black background, you need to be careful not to spill light. It's relatively easy to control in a large studio, it's almost impossible in a small room. ...
  • 2,244
14 votes
Accepted

How to take this group portrait with faces in profile only lit from the side they're facing?

The setup is relatively simple but to do this as one shot you will need space. An awful lot of space. Doing this indoors in a regular sized house is not going to work, the walls/ceiling are going to ...
  • 117k
13 votes

How to take this group portrait with faces in profile only lit from the side they're facing?

I recognize this exact picture - I've seen it before. There are two photography magazines that I read that showed how to do this exact type of family portrait. This was done in a home with a simple ...
  • 1,163
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 ...
11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
8 votes

How to take this group portrait with faces in profile only lit from the side they're facing?

To me this looks like a composite - the family members look too close together to not be clashing shoulders. If it is a composite then you can use the trick @Math-grum mentions of using a smallish ...
  • 591
8 votes
Accepted

What can I use instead of a human to practice shooting with flash?

Tethered selfies are easy to setup, or you could give a try to an "Hair Styling Head" even though that could feel creepy. My solution to this was to do party photography at a local bar to try new ...
8 votes
Accepted

How to produce smoke for studio photography

Most commercial photographers who use smoke a lot buy a commercially made "fog machine" that converts a fluid into dense vapor. The fluid is primarily made of water and glycerin. The machine simply ...
  • 169k
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 ...
7 votes
Accepted

How to take pixel-for-pixel aligned pictures with a DSLR and iPhone 7?

Garbage-In, Garbage-Out A big problem with using DSLR photos as "ground truth" for the improvement of cell-phone photos is the assumption that DSLR photos are necessarily better than cell phone ...
  • 26.4k
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. ...
  • 21.3k
6 votes

What color should I use for the walls and ceiling of a photography studio?

Neutral, usually black or white depending your needs. Assuming that your backdrop will be separate (paper roll). White: Walls can be used as reflectors. But, can be difficult to control stray ...
  • 1,157
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....
5 votes

Pros and cons of cheap studio strobes vs. hotshoe/speedlight flash for portraits?

I'm sure there will be very comprehensive answers to this well-structured question, this one is just from the perspective of someone who doesn't own anything more powerful than a speedlight. Besides ...
5 votes

Pros and cons of cheap studio strobes vs. hotshoe/speedlight flash for portraits?

The advantages of studio strobes over speedlights for off-camera lighting is not as much like getting a dSLR over a P&S, as it is like getting full frame over crop. While the advantages are there ...
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 ...
  • 169k
5 votes
Accepted

70-200mm lens or 18-200mm lens for small studio like 25 feet?

Any zoom lens with a 7.5X or 10X or greater ratio between the minimum and maximum focal length is going to compromise optical quality in several areas to get to that focal length flexibility. These ...
  • 169k
5 votes

How to capture a swinging pendulum?

I wonder what would happen if, in addition to the steps offered by this excellent answer, you would use a long enough exposure (say 5-10 minutes) for the length of the pendulum's travel to decay ...
  • 169k
5 votes

How to capture a swinging pendulum?

Consider adding a light source to the bob itself, such as an LED. Set your exposure for several periods of the pendulum, and flash your external light source at the extremes. This attached light ...
5 votes

Corporate Portraiture Advice

[We don't do answers as comments, but this only addresses one small part of the setup] If you're going to be eliminating the background & desk to black, why not give yourself a head start & ...
  • 20.4k
5 votes

How to produce smoke for studio photography

Another method of producing "smoke" is to dump some chips of dry ice (frozen CO2) in water (hot water will produce more "smoke" more quickly, but dry ice is cold enough that the water usually won't ...
  • 18.7k
4 votes
Accepted

What should I look for in a wireless flash trigger for a home studio?

Actually, the most problematic part of your equation here is the 380EX. It doesn't do Canon's wireless eTTL slave mode, which is probably why you're looking for triggers, but it has no manual power ...
4 votes

What kind of a stand setup is this?

This is a "tent" lighting setup. The idea is to place above the subject a diffuser. Lamps are aimed so as to evenly illuminate the diffuser. Such a successful lash-up delivers highly diffused light to ...
  • 36.5k
4 votes

How to interval shoot in a pitch black room?

Angle the flash to bounce off the ceiling or a grey card by blocking the flash with a mirror. Simply shutter a bit slower or bump the ISO to account for the decrease in intensity. If it's a thin ...
  • 1,753
4 votes

What readily available items can be used for color correction or reference?

Apparently, PTFE white matte thread seal tape wrapped around a white polymer eraser works well as a white balance reference. Photography Life has an article with examples of its use: DIY: Reliable ...
  • 26.4k
4 votes

How to produce smoke for studio photography

One option is to use an E-cigarette. I've used it to add smoke in the background of people, when complemented by black lighting the smoke gets really visible. You'll want to use preferably high VG ...
4 votes

How to produce smoke for studio photography

There are several commercial products available for this at a reasonably low cost. 1) Smoke tablets/pallets. Available in several colors, around 5-10 dollar per pack of 3 to 5. 2) Smoke in a ...
  • 1,482
4 votes

Why should you leave 2 ft from the ceiling for studio lights?

I can think of two reasons to keep some distance between studio lights and a ceiling: Reflection, if the studio lights have so much spread that the light reflects against the ceiling, this can cause ...
4 votes

Why is my histogram missing the mid tones?

The most obvious answer is because everything in the scene is either very dark or very light, with not many mid-tones for your camera to capture. Especially when using flash in a dark environment (...
  • 169k

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