Recent Lighting Articles

How to Light and Capture Nighttime Portraits

Nighttime portraits can be a highly effective way to add a bit of drama to your images and open up entirely new creative avenues. If you are interested in learning how to shoot portraits after dark, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show what you need to know to get up and running.

A Simple and Effective Two-Light Location Portrait Setup

When you are working in a studio, you can enjoy all the equipment you own without having to worry about how to carry it all along with you. When you work on location, however, you need to balance the complexity of your creative setups with how easily you can transport all your equipment. This helpful video tutorial will show you an effective two-light setup for on-location portraits that will yield compelling images.

How to Add Depth to a Portrait

A photograph is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world, and as such, part of the challenge to the photographer is to recreate a sense of depth in the image. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to use lighting and other techniques to create a deep sense of depth in a portrait for a more compelling overall image.

How to Properly Use a Light Meter

Back in the days of film, where there were no image previews and every frame cost money to take, light meters allowed you to ensure that an image would be properly lit and the results would be what you expected. With digital, you can now check the results instantly and make adjustments right away with no penalty. So, while light meters are not necessary anymore, they can still be quite useful. This great video tutorial will show you how to use one properly.

Create Beautiful Portraits With This $20 DIY Light

Photography can be an expensive pursuit, with cameras, lenses, and lights setting you back thousands and thousands of dollars. While that is true, the operative part is "can be". There are lots of ways to create amazing images on a modest budget.

How to Balance Flash and Ambient Light

Knowing how to balance flash and ambient light is one of the most crucial skills a portrait photographer can have, as it will give you the ability to shoot in just about any environment with full creative and technical control. If you are newer to working with artificial lighting and want to learn this skill, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you how to balance flash and ambient light for better images.

How to Take Better Portraits in Hard Light

Like it or not, hard light happens a lot outside, and if you are a portrait or wedding photographer, you can't just reschedule the ceremony or session every time you don't have clouds to give you soft light. So, what can you do to still create flattering images? This excellent video tutorial will show you how adding a bit of flash to the scene can be just the solution you are looking for.

How to Precisely Control Soft Light for a Portrait

Soft light is generally the preferred style for portraits, as it is more flattering on the subject. However, soft light produces more gradual transitions and requires relatively larger sources, which can make it more difficult to precisely control where it is falling in the frame. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to create a portrait using soft but carefully controlled light using flags and v-flats.

How to Correctly Place a Softbox When Lighting a Portrait

When it comes to portrait photography, the softbox is one of the most fundamental and versatile tools you can have in your kit. If you are new to working with artificial lighting, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you how to properly place a softbox to get the best results.

Continuous Lights Versus Flash for Portrait Photography

It used to be that continuous lighting was either way too hot or simply not powerful enough for lighting portraits, but LEDs have come quite a long way in recent years, and they are now a viable alternative to strobes in certain situations. This great video examines the two options while showing off a unique light that can do both.

How to Create Eye-Catching Portraits With Just One Light and an Umbrella

There are a ton of different modifiers available for working with artificial lighting, and it can be a bit overwhelming (and expensive) to pick one when you are just starting out. Umbrellas are some of the cheapest modifiers out there, and as such, they are a fantastic tool for learning how to work with artificial light, and they can do a lot more than they often get credit for. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to create compelling portraits using just one light and an umbrella.

Everything You Need to Know About Kicker Lights for Portrait Photography

While you can absolutely create professional-level portraits with a single light, using multiple lights will allow you create more advanced and precise setups that simply are not possible with just one source. One of the most important secondary lights a portrait photographer can use is the kicker, and this great video tutorial will show you both what they are and how they are used to create more effective images.

Continuous Lights Versus Flash: Which Is Better for Portrait Photography?

Portrait photography is arguably the biggest segment in the photography industry. The majority of photography equipment tends to focus more on portrait and people photography. Lighting is one of those key bits of equipment. The kind of lighting you use can impact a lot of things and not just the results you produce.

A Creative and Eye-Catching Two-Light Portrait Setup

When you are new to working with artificial light for portraits, you should generally start with a single source until you are comfortable with all the basic properties and techniques. Once you feel comfortable with those, you can begin to embrace more complex multi-light setups. This excellent video tutorial shows a relatively simple two-light setup that creates an eye-catching spotlight effect.

How to Balance Flash and Ambient Light in Portrait Photography

Whether you are a portrait, wedding, or family photographer, one of the most useful skills you can learn is how to balance ambient light and flash. If you would like to improve your portraiture work, check out this helpful video that will show you a method for balancing flash and ambient light to create more balanced and complete portraits.

How Off Camera Flash Elevates Your Market Value

Many photographers start their careers by learning natural lighting techniques. Once these skills are established, complacency can set in and the photographer might choose not to stretch themselves to learn more advanced lighting skills. When photographers do this, they leave a significant amount of value on the table.

How to Create Very Soft and Flattering Light for Portrait Photos

When it comes to portrait photography, soft light is often the method of choice, as it provides flattering renderings suitable for a wide range of styles and subjects. If you are new to working with artificial lighting and interested in learning more, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you how to create elegant soft light for portrait work.

The Fundamentals of Lighting Portraits

When it comes to portrait photography, learning to work with artificial lighting will make you far more versatile and enable creative opportunities that simply would not be possible otherwise. If that is something you would like to start diving into, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you the fundamentals and have you ready to tackle your first shoot.

Learn How to Light and Photograph This Cinematic Portrait

Lighting portraits is about more than simply creating a technically correct exposure and rendering your subject in a flattering way. It is your chance to create a certain atmosphere and develop a recognizable personal style. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to use hard lighting to create a cinematic portrait.

5 Tips for Shooting Backlit Portraits

Backlit portraits can be a fantastic way to add drama and visual interest to a photo, but they also require some special considerations to get the effect you want and to maintain the best possible image quality. If you would like to improve your backlit portraits, check out this great video tutorial that features five excellent tips to help you get your photos just right.

How to Add Artificial Light to a Natural Light Scene

Adding artificial light to your natural light scene is a relatively simple technique that you can use to create an image that depicts the scene more dramatically than it appeared to your eyes when you were there.

Godox Parabolic Light Modifiers: Better Than Broncolor?

Parabolic light modifiers are some of the most versatile on the market. Coincidentally, they are also some of the most expensive ones out there. Loved for versatility, hated for the price, and very few photographers actually own them. Godox set out to create an affordable but also a truly parabolic softbox. So, how did they do? Spoiler alert: much better than I expected.

How to Blend Ambient and Artificial Lighting

Using natural or artificial light is not always a binary choice; often, you will want the two to complement each to produce a more balanced overall photo. If you would like to make your lighting skills more versatile, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you how to blend ambient light with flash for portraiture work.

How to Create Subtle Light With Off-Camera Flash

When you think of using artificial light for portrait photography, you might think of it being a calculated, obvious aesthetic, but often, using flash is more about creating a subtle, understated effect that makes your images more balanced and well exposed. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to use artificial light to create an elegant effect for an eye-catching photo.

An Effective One-Light Setup for Portraits

If you look at the work of professional portrait photographers, you will probably notice that they often employ multi-light setups to achieve their desired looks. And while those are useful, you can absolutely create professional-level photos with a single light, and this helpful video will show you what you can accomplish with one.

How to Create Natural Light in Studio

It might seem strange to work in a studio only to use it to replicate the look of natural light, but it is a classic style that can be quite effective for a wide range of applications. This useful video tutorial will show you the technique behind creating the look as well as some helpful tips you can use to make it your own.

How to Use a Reflector for Shaping Light for Portraits

A reflector is one of the cheapest and most effective tools for shaping lighting for portraiture, and it can easily replace the need for another light in a lot of scenarios. If you have not been taking full advantage of your reflector or you are new to working with lighting, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you how to use one for portraiture work.

3 Basic Flash Techniques Every Portrait Photographer Should Learn

When you are new to working with artificial light, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to balance all the technical and creative aspects while also posing your subject and controlling the camera. If you are a beginner and looking to improve, check out this great video tutorial that will show you three flash techniques every portrait photographer should know how to employ.

How to Light and Shoot Your First High-Key Portrait

The high-key portrait is a classic look that has retained its popularity over many decades, but it requires good knowledge of lighting to execute it properly. If you are new to portrait lighting and wondering how to create the high-key look, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know.

A Beginner's Guide to Using Flash for Outdoor Portrait Photography

One of the most fundamental skills every portrait photographer should learn is using flash for lighting their images. However, flash is not just for working in a studio. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to use flash for outdoor portrait photography.

Create Stunning Portraits With This Simple Two-Light Setup

Creating an even, flattering light in the studio doesn't have to be difficult. In this tutorial, I will show you three simple parallel lighting hacks to make portraits that everyone from the boardroom to Broadway will love.

Should Product Photographers Learn 3D Modeling?

Most of the time, when it comes to photography or video of cars, beauty products, cosmetics, and even shoes, it’s made on a computer and not by a photographer. There are several reasons for this, but in this video, Karl Taylor, a renowned product photographer and educator, discusses photography versus 3D CGI and the advantages of each.

8 Common Lighting Mistakes New Photographers Make

Learning artificial lighting can be a bit daunting for a lot of photographers, but you should not let it scare you! If you are starting to dabble in artificial lighting and looking to improve, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you eight common mistakes beginners make and what you can do to fix them or avoid them entirely in the first place.

How to Take Better Wedding Photos in Harsh, Direct Sunlight

Harsh, direct sunlight can be a real pain in the neck to work with, especially when you are a wedding photographer and do not have much control over the timing or location of things. Whether you are a wedding or portrait photographer, check out this fantastic video tutorial that offers a lot of practical and helpful advice for taking compelling portraits in harsh sunlight.

5 Portrait Lighting Setups Using Just One Umbrella

When you are newer to working with artificial lighting, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to pick the right modifier for a given shoot. Umbrellas are easily the cheapest modifiers you can get, making them a great tool for learning how to work with artificial light, and they are more versatile than you might think. This great video tutorial will show you five different single umbrella setups for shooting portraits.

How Are Fill Lights Used for Portrait Photography?

You can absolutely create professional-level portraits using nothing but a single key light, but once you move into multi-light setups, you get a bit more creative and technical control over the final image. One of the first ways to do this is by adding a fill light, and this excellent video tutorial will show you what it is and how it can be used to create better portraits.

How To Shoot Outdoor Portraits at Noon

Why would you even consider shooting under the hard and harsh light of midday? Here are some reasons that you should consider it and how you can pull it off.

Simple Artificial Light for Food Photography in Small Spaces

A lot of food and product photographers begin their journey in a tiny space with limited room for lighting and equipment. Food photographer Rachel Korinek has an amazing setup for recreating big window light in a small space.

How to Simulate Strobe Lighting Using Lightroom's AI Masking Tool

Keeping up with every new feature that is added to Lightroom and Photoshop is a never-ending task I’ve long since given up on. Fortunately, both programs currently perform all the tasks I require from them. Still, I like to periodically make myself aware of improvements to these programs to ensure that I don’t miss something that might speed up or otherwise improve my workflow.

3 Different Shoots With Only a Bare Bulb

In this video, Lindsay Adler shows how going back to the basics, with nothing more than her camera, a white backdrop, and a bare bulb flash can make for some great images.

Virtual Lighting Just Got Better!

Elixxier software is an innovative company that has produced very useful and helpful tools for photographers and filmmakers, especially when it comes to creating 3D light simulations.

My New Filming Set Behind the Scenes

For the last couple of months, Patrick and I have been moving into our new homes in Puerto Rico and building out personal studios in each. Let me show you what I've built.

How to Create a Truly White Background in a Photo

One of the most essential and useful artificial lighting techniques a photographer can know is how to create a pure white background. There are several ways to go about this, each with advantages and disadvantages. This fantastic video tutorial will show you a few reasons why photographers often have trouble with this and some techniques that are sure to help you find success.