Recent Lighting Articles

Sculpting Storytelling Light for Engagement Photos

Capturing the spirit of love’s celebrations demands thoughtful artistry behind the lens. In his latest tutorial, seasoned wedding shooter Pye Jirsa demonstrates essential techniques for intentionally crafting evocative engagement portraits through deliberate light shaping. Through five versatile lighting recipes, Jirsa spotlights how to create desired moods and contexts to transform setups into narrative tools.

Sculpting Style With Light: Unlocking Artistic Vision Through Multi-Flash Setups

Many photographers looking to pursue more conceptual portraiture are intimidated by elaborate lighting configurations required to achieve intensely stylized effects. However, this excellent video tutorial makes the case that venturing beyond single-source illumination opens doors for bringing unique creative visions vibrantly to life.

Mastering Manual Flash: Go In-Depth on Off-Camera Lighting

Photographers often hit walls when controlling off-camera lighting on shoots. While TTL flash offers some automation, real mastery means moving to manual settings for predictable, quality results. The excellent video tutorial will put you on the right track.

Mastering Off-Camera Flash: Avoid These Common Mistakes

Learning to shoot with off-camera flash brings a whole new level of control and creativity to photography. But along with the endless possibilities comes ample room for slip-ups. This fantastic video tutorial outlines the five most common mistakes people make when first stepping into off-camera lighting, along with fixes to set you up for success.

Freezing Night Fashion Photography Done Right

This is one of my most favourite test shoots I’ve done to this date, not only based on how we got the shot but also how they turned out. Here’s how we shot it, how it was lit, and everything that came together to make this shot happen.

How to Create This Dramatic Hard Light Portrait

While many photographers shy away from hard light, thinking it is unflattering, portraits can benefit from judicious application of hard shadows and contrast. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to use hard light to create a dramatic and dynamic portrait.

One of the Most Common Mistakes Photographers Make With Artificial Lighting

When it comes to artificial lighting, while technical skills are critical, even more important is learning to light scenes in service of the narrative rather than conspicuous lighting for its own sake. This great video demonstrates that concept and offers five useful steps to put you on the path to success.

How to Make Flash Look Like Natural Light

Sometimes, you want the look of natural light, but there simply is not enough of it available for a properly balanced exposure. With a little bit of know-how, though, you can replicate the look of natural light, allowing you to create that look whenever and wherever. This helpful video tutorial features an experienced photographer showing you how to do just that.

How Hard Light Can Be Just as Good as Soft Light for Portraits

Creating standout portraits hinges on understanding and controlling light. This excellent video tutorial illuminates how to balance bright sunlight with off-camera flash to sculpt dimension and mood and shows that hard light can be just as compelling as soft light.

How to Deal With Harsh Sunlight in Portrait Photography

The beauty of working with flash is that you can walk into any lighting situation and shape it to your creative vision and needs, and that frees you from relying on the sun to cooperate and to dictate your shoot's timing and location. Perhaps no scenario is more challenging than harsh midday light. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to use off-camera flash to work with that harsh light to create compelling portraits.

How to Light a Group Portrait

It takes a lot of skill and experience to light a portrait of a single person, but lighting groups can be an entirely different challenge. Nonetheless, depending what you shoot, you may be called upon to photograph groups. When that happens, you will want to be ready to transition quickly. This great video tutorial will show you an effective and straightforward approach for producing quality group photos.

Learn How to Use Flash to Light an Engagement Portrait With This Tutorial

Learning to use off-camera flash can feel quite daunting, especially when you combine it with natural light in an outdoor environment. Once you understand and grow comfortable with a few fundamental principles and techniques, though, you will find the entire process much more intuitive and easier to tackle. This fantastic video tutorial features an experienced photographer walking you through an engagement shoot using off-camera flash and natural light to help you learn those crucial fundamentals.

How to Light an Outdoor Portrait With Natural Light and Flash

Learning flash can feel daunting, but once you get the basics down, you will find that you can tackle a much wider range of creative needs. One of those fundamental skills is balancing flash and natural light, and this excellent video tutorial will show you the ins and out of doing that to create a compelling portrait.

How to Light a Green Screen

The green screen effect (sometimes known as "chroma keying") is a useful tool for making easy composites. However, getting a clean effect takes very careful and precise lighting. If you find yourself struggling to get it just right, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you how to properly light a green screen along with some common mistakes and how to fix them.

Four Useful Two-Light Portrait Photography Setups

It is important to start learning artificial light with a single source, as this will allow you to better understand the properties and fundamental behavior of light. Once you have mastered that, though, adding a second light will open up a lot of creative possibilities that simply would not be achievable otherwise. This fantastic video tutorial features an experienced studio photographer sharing four effective two-light setups for working with models.

5 Helpful Tips for Flash Photography at a Wedding Reception

Lighting a wedding reception can be a real challenge, as you are often working in less-than-ideal environments and have to keep responding to dynamically evolving conditions, which can make it a bit intimidating for many photographers. If you would like to improve your images, check out this fantastic video tutorial that features an experienced wedding photographer sharing five tips that will help you take better control of your reception lighting.

We Review the Elinchrom THREE

Elinchrom has a pretty wide range of lights on offer, but their newest edition fills a gap in their lineup that users will be happy to see.

How to Light a Portrait Using a Speedlight

While learning artificial lighting can feel a bit daunting, it makes you a far more versatile photographer and frees you up to explore many creative avenues that would not be possible otherwise. You do not need to start with expensive equipment, though; a speedlight and small modifier are a portable and affordable way to learn. This excellent video tutorial will show you everything you need to know to photograph a portrait using a speedlight.

A Beginner's Guide to Lighting Outdoor Portraits With Flash

Flash can feel a bit daunting to photographers who have not used it before, particularly when you take it outside and have to learn to balance it with the sun. You will find it a lot easier if you master a few fundamental concepts first, and it will make you a far more versatile portrait photographer. If you are ready to start learning, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know.

Tips for Shooting Portraits in Harsh Sunlight

Taking portraits outside is great fun and can result in some amazing shots, but you'll likely have heard that you shouldn't shoot during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest. Why? It's difficult to make the light flattering, among other things.
5 Lighting Hacks You Won't Find in YouTube Tutorials

Learning lighting is often considered the first step toward capturing better photos. When I began my journey, I delved into discovering various techniques and unconventional methods for creating truly unique setups that leave clients in awe. In this article, I will share my five favorite lighting hacks.

How to Create Realistic Lighting in Filmmaking

You can't control what the weather will be on any given day, and that dictates a lot of how natural light will behave. In this video, Rob Ellis takes you behind-the-scenes to go through how to create realistic-looking lighting no matter what conditions you're in.
A Compact and Effective Portrait Lighting Setup

When you are working in a studio, you can have just about whatever lighting you want at your disposal, no matter how complex and cumbersome the setup. However, when you move to on-location shoots, simplicity and portability are the name of the game. This awesome video tutorial will show you an easy, compact, and effective lighting setup for on-location portraits.

The Softest Light You Can Get: An Easy Guide

There are numerous applications for soft light, from portraiture to product photography, from macro to fashion. Soft light stands as one of the cornerstones of photographic expertise.

Here Is How I Light My Images as a Pro Photographer

I love light; it is the foundational component of my photography. I started off with light setups from the internet; however, I soon realized they don’t work for what I was aiming to get. This led me to come up with my own way of lighting photographs. Here is how I do it and how you can learn it.

Two Effective Portrait Lighting Setups

Good lighting makes all the difference in a portrait, and knowing the different styles appropriate for different applications will make you a more versatile and capable creative. This excellent video tutorial features an experienced portrait photographer sharing two different lighting setups — a beauty setup and a more dramatic option — and sharing a lot of helpful advice on how to optimize both approaches to produce the best possible results.

An Advanced Two-Light Setup for Wedding Photography

When it comes to wedding photography, time is almost never a luxury, and as such, the photographer generally has to keep the lighting setups relatively simple to keep things moving. Nonetheless, if you are feeling confident in your abilities and ready to step it up to the next level, a two-light off-camera setup can give you a lot more creative flexibility. This awesome video tutorial features an experienced wedding photographer sharing her two-light setup for photographing receptions.

We Review the Lume Cube XL Tube Light

Tube lights are all the rage. So, when a new one comes on the market, it better have some type of stand-out feature to differentiate it from the pack.

The Perfect Travel Strobe? We Review the Profoto A2

You’d be hard-pressed to find a portable flash at the level of Profoto A2 in terms of build quality, size, weight, power, ease of use, and consistency. It is genuinely a tiny marvel for any photographer. It is almost hilariously simple to set up, and yet, it delivers terrific results. Best of all, if you buy a Profoto A2 between now and October 31, you get a Connect remote for free.

Copying Roger Deakins' Lighting Style in Your Videos

Lighting your videos — or even cinematic-style portraits — can be a complex affair, with so many different lighting setups available to you. One potential solution is to take cues from brilliant cinematographers.
Exposing for the Ambient Light and Then Adding a Flash

Using flashes with ambient light can be tricky, whether you're fighting with the midday sun or you're trying to balance ambient light. In this behind-the-scenes video, you get a breakdown of how one photographer exposes for the ambient light and then layers in a strobe.
Using a Simple LED Light Setup During a Portrait Session

Remove the complications and long lists of equipment that you think you need to create stunning portraits. Look at what Irene Rudnyk can achieve shooting with this simple LED light set up in her living room.

What Is a Centerfield Split Diopter?

Have you ever wondered how photographers achieved that etherial blurred effect? Well, it can be done in Photoshop, but it turns out there's a filter available to create the same results if not better.
How to Light a Fashion and Hair Competition Portrait

Lighting can make or break a portrait, and sometimes, you will be asked by a client to tailor your lighting design to accentuate specific characteristics or features of your subject. In this great video tutorial, you will see a photographer team up with a world-class barber to create images for a hairstyling competition and learn how a combination of lighting and editing came together to create the final images.

We Review the Hobolite Micro: The Cute Little Light That Could

In the world of LED lights, Hobolite has once again pushed the envelope, revealing the “Micro” to their lineup. At first glance, its compactness is enchanting, promising both convenience and functionality. The real question, however, is: does it deliver?

How to Take Outdoor Group Shots Like a Pro

Group shots might seem just like wider-angle portraits, but my word are they annoying. In this video, watch a tutorial of a professional group shot of a children's football team that yields superb results despite bright natural light!
A Versatile and Effective One-Light Portrait Setup

When you are new to learning, it can be tempting to think that you need complex multi-light setups in order to create compelling professional portraits, but that cannot be further from the truth. While such setups certainly have their place, you will be surprised by just how much you can accomplish with only one light. This fantastic video tutorial features an experienced portrait photographer sharing four effective single-light setups and how to use them.

Why You Should Always Watch the Light When Shooting Wide Angle Portraits Outside

When you think of a portrait, you probably think of focal lengths mostly between 85mm and 135mm, but, of course, that does not mean you can't use wider focal lengths. A wide angle portrait outside can be a great way to add a sense of drama and adventure to the frame, but you need to ensure you are carefully balancing the light. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to read the light and ensure you get the best possible images.

A Straightforward Tutorial on Using Flash Outside for Portraits

Flash does not have to be restricted to the studio; in fact, you can make some pretty creative and fun images by combining flash with natural light outside. If you would like to get started with working with flash for outdoor portraits, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will guide you through lighting and shooting such a set of photos.

How to Shoot Backlit Portraits

Backlighting in portraiture offers a huge range of creative possibilities, whether adding a bit of shimmer to your subject's hair, including a dramatic sunset in the frame, or one of many other options. However, the use of backlighting takes some special considerations to ensure you get the results you have in mind. This helpful video tutorial will show you what you need to know to maximize your image quality.

6 Lighting Setups Any Photographer Can Use

Having a few simple lighting setups available at your disposal is one of the most important tricks any photographer can have up their sleeve. In this post, I'm going to share with you six of my favorite lighting setups for wedding photographers, but really any photographer can use these simple tips.