Continuous, LED lights have become stronger and more affordable over the past decade, to the point where they're challenging a lot of strobes. The new Amaran LED might just top them all, however.
Recent Lighting Articles
Portrait lighting is about a lot more than simply creating a technically balanced image of your subject; it is your chance to exercise your creativity and show off your subject in a compelling and interesting fashion. If you would like to improve your own portrait photography, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you how one photographer lit and shot a set of portraits using several lights and modifiers.
Using flash for portrait photography is something that scares a lot of photographers, but once you master it, you will wonder how you ever worked without the complete creative and technical control it offers. If you are just starting out and unsure of how to get rolling, check out this fantastically comprehensive video tutorial that covers everything from the different types of flash through to how to use TTL and complex multi-light setups.
Flat light in an otherwise interesting photo can be a frustrating thing, but with the dynamic range and post-processing latitude of a lot of modern sensors, you can do quite a lot to reshape an image in post and turn it into a compelling photo. This fantastic video tutorial will tell you how to take a photo that suffers from flat light but that has potential and use Lightroom and Photoshop to turn it into something great.
Creating a high key background and adding rim lights is a fantastic way to add a really professional touch to your images, but doing so can take three or four extra lights on top of whatever you are already using to light your subject, often making it particularly cumbersome. What if you could add the high key background and rim lights using just a single light? This fantastic video tutorial will show you how to do it.
The look of light filtering through a window to light a subject is both quite recognizable, even to the non-photographer, and a fantastic way to give your portraits a natural and elegant look. However, depending on where your studio is and when you are working, you may not always have the luxury of perfect window light. It is not that difficult to create it with artificial lighting, though, and this awesome video tutorial will show you four tips to ensure you get the best possible result.
When Aputure released the LS 600d Pro, it took the market by storm and signaled an era of high-power LED coming. But when the LS 600X Pro came out, it took the D version and made it greater. I’ve been using the 600X Pro for the past month, and here are some of my thoughts on it.
When it comes to lighting, the three main types you can choose from are speedlights, monolights, and packs and heads. These three all have their own merits and drawbacks, and if you are thinking about investing in your own lighting system, it is important to know which is best suited for your work. This excellent video tutorial will show you the ins and outs of all three options and help you decide which to choose.
Picking up artificial lighting can be a bit daunting for a lot of photographers, but if you want to take complete technical control of your portraits and expand your creativity, it is something you have to master at one time or another. If you are new to artificial lighting and unsure of how to get started, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you three steps sure to get you on your way to using flash comfortably.
Portraiture is one of the most versatile genres of photography, housing many sub-genres within it. One of the most impactful skillsets you can acquire for the craft is lighting and so it is important to know the basic setups and what different lighting styles achieve.
If you like shooting your muse in a night-like environment, you might run into some difficulties. With flash, it is also possible to create the night during daylight. This way, it becomes much easier to shoot your muse, without all the difficulties you encounter while shooting in the dark. On top of that, it isn’t difficult at all.
When you are working in the studio, it is not a big deal to create complex, multi-light setups, since all your gear is there and doing so only requires moving it a minimal distance. On the other hand, when it comes to working on location, unless you have an entire crew with you, efficiency is the name of the game. This helpful video tutorial will show you a quick, simple, and effective lighting setup for on-location portraits.
When it comes to portrait photography, most professionals employ a range of lighting equipment to dial in the exact images they are looking for no matter where they are or when they are shooting. That being said, you will be amazed what you can accomplish with natural light and the knowledge of how to shape it to your needs. This great video tutorial will show you how to create professional portraits in a garage using just natural light and a few modifiers.
I have a massive soft spot for fresnels. I love them. Fresnels give out unique light qualities that can’t be replicated by anything else. The Aputure F10 Fresnel is no exception, as it turns an LED into a super-light. Here’s why.
When it comes to learning lighting, we mostly discuss how to precisely add it to scenes to build up the final look from a blank slate. But just as important as knowing how to properly add light to the scene is knowing how to remove it. This quick and helpful video tutorial will give you an overview of negative fill, including what it is and how to use it in your photos.
Shooting with a wide aperture for portraits with a shallow depth of field is a highly popular look, but when you are photographing in the sun with flash, you can run into impossible-to-solve exposure issues — impossible until you introduce some new techniques. This helpful video tutorial will show how to deal with strong sun in outdoor portrait situations to produce better images.
It is certainly true that a lot of professional portrait photographers use a wide variety of lighting equipment to achieve the looks they want, and while there is a good reason for having all that gear at one's disposal, it is important to remember what you can create with the bare minimum and a good understanding of how light behaves. This excellent video tutorial will show you how you can create dramatic portraits using nothing more than the light coming through the door of a garage.
Who says you need a huge studio to shoot high-speed special effects?
Dani Diamond is well known for his portraiture work, particularly his natural light work. But of course, he works with artificial lighting too, and in this great video tutorial, he will walk you through a one-light setup and how he modifies it to create a professional-level portrait.
Often, I read about natural light photographers who prefer a high-ISO setting above the use of flash. The latter is considered unnatural and unflattering light. Perhaps that photographer should consider the benefits flash can offer without the sacrifice of a natural-looking photo.
As a photographer who is dedicated to your craft, one way you can distinguish yourself from a casual hobbyist is through your mastery of lighting. A new video by Mark Bone gives 5 guidelines you can consider when you want to add light to a portrait. Although Bone is a filmmaker rather than a photographer, these tips apply to photography as much as they apply to filmmaking.
It seems hard light is trending these days. From elaborate food spreads in Bon Appetit to fashion shoots for Burberry, hard light is in. If you've ever wondered how to create this look, this quick and simple tutorial will lay it out for you. I'll share a few concepts, and you can watch the video for a demonstration.
The beauty of artificial lighting is that you can create whatever look you want, wherever and whenever you want. That does not mean things need to be overly complex, however. In fact, just two lights can offer a ton of versatility, and this excellent video tutorial will show you how to use them to create some dramatic and compelling couples portraits.
Long exposure photography is a beloved technique, utilized by many genres, as well as forming something of a genre itself. In this video, one photographer walks you through his process and some tips on how to get the best out of your own long exposure images.
In recent years, Godox has become the go-to brand for many photographers looking for competitively-priced lighting products that are packed with features.
If you are new to working with artificial lighting, it can be a bit discouraging when you look at the work of established professionals and see them often using complex multi-light setups. However, you can absolutely make creative and compelling professional-level photos using a single light setup, and this fantastic video tutorial will show you one such setup.
Many photographers struggle with creating a pure white background in camera, but it is an essential skill that all of us must master. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to do with the right setup. In this article and the accompanying video, I detail my method for creating a pleasing white background on camera.
A few weeks ago, I got my hands on a light modifier I've always wanted to have in our studio. Westcott's brand new Optical Spot is one of the coolest and most useful light modifiers I've ever seen, and in today's video, I'm going to show you why you might want one or two for your photography!
No matter how many lighting modifiers you own, there is almost no setup that will not require some sort of customization, which is why a good understanding of the fundamentals of how light behaves and how to shape it is so important. This great video tutorial will show you a useful exercise for creating dramatic light using just a shoot-through umbrella and some v-flats, and even if you own more specialized modifiers, it is excellent practice in the problem-solving skills needed for mastering lighting.
Lindsay Adler recently teamed up with Westcott to develop the Westcott Optical Spot. In this video, she shows what’s possible.
Working with artificial light is something a lot of photographers struggle with, but if you understand some fundamental rules about how it behaves and how to control it, you can make your life a lot easier. This excellent video tutorial will show you five fundamental rules of lighting that every photographer should know and how to use them to make better images.
Did you know studies have shown that viewers form an opinion of people within 1/10th of a second of seeing them? In a similar way, viewers judge brands with a cursory glance. Brands rely on design elements such as color, shape, line, and font to communicate their identity and values.
Creating dramatic headshots using multiple lights doesn't have to be difficult. One of the best ways to become proficient at using a three-light setup is by building it one light at a time. In this article and the accompanying video, I will demonstrate how you can easily create dramatic headshots and portraits using a key light, kicker light, and fill light.
There are many ways to light a subject, both complex and simplistic, and while you might be always tempted to go for the most complicated setups, knowing the classics is important too. Classic lighting is classic for a reason and you may find yourself using it more often than you expect.
How can you manipulate the color of the sky with simple lighting techniques? In this video, learn how to capture a rich blue sky with just one light.
Some photographers have skills that blow us away. Embedding emotions into images sets some photographers apart, so I knew instantly I had to share Tianna Williams’ work with our readers.
There is a lot more room to be creative in product photography than you might initially think, and part of creating compelling imagery is knowing how to add your own stylistic touches in a way that complements the product's purpose. This excellent video tutorial will show you one such example of that by guiding through lighting, shooting, and editing a bold cosmetics product image.
One thing that often discourages photographers from beginning to learn how to work with artificial light is the mistaken idea that it takes complex multi-light setups to create great portraits. In actuality, you can create professional-level portraits with even only a single light, and this fantastic video tutorial will show you how to do just that using a holiday theme as an example.
When it comes to lighting, perhaps the most fundamental parameter every photographer has to gain a mastery of is controlling the softness or hardness of the light. There are several ways to go about this, with one of them being diffusion. This excellent video tutorial will show you what diffusion does and how to use it to take a higher level of control over your lighting and images.
It is great whenever you can properly set up lights and systematically work your way to the final image, but that simply is not always an option, especially if you are doing something like shooting weddings. However, that does not mean you simply can't use artificial light; you just might have to be a bit more nimble with it. One of the most popular techniques for this is bounce flash, and this great video tutorial will show you how to use it properly.
Not all conferences are created equal. While I am a big fan of the large conferences, sharing a room with hundreds of people isn't always the best way to learn. So, if you still want to learn from big names such as Lindsey Adler and Joe McNally, but in a small hands-on environment, then The Photo Creators may be what you are looking for.
There is something really eye-catching about old-fashioned Hollywood portraits, which had a healthy flare for the dramatic. And while you might not find yourself shooting that style on a regular basis for clients, it can be a fun creative exercise and one that really pushes your lighting and styling abilities to a new level. This awesome video tutorial will take you behind the scenes to learn how to shoot a modern take on the classic Hollywood portrait by using five lights, along with a look at how to complete the look in post-processing.
When you are ready to move into working in your own studio, you will, of course, have to bring in your own lighting. Lighting can run a huge gamut of price and features, however, and it can be tricky to know what you need to get started. If you are looking for some decent lighting to get you up and running and that will not break the bank, check out this helpful video that will show you some good beginner lighting kits for studio work.
No doubt, modern cameras and editing software have allowed us to push edits to extremes we would never have dreamed of previously, but still, to ensure the best image and video quality and significantly reduce our work at the computer, getting things right in camera is best. That being said, there will be times when things need some work in post. This neat video challenges four colorists to correct severely askew footage and will teach you some great methods in the process.
In the history of visual art, few figures loom as large as Rembrandt. His influence on photography is so great that “Rembrandt lighting” has become a staple method for portraiture. But Rembrandt Lighting is often a poor choice for photographing women, especially when working with corporate clients.
If you ever watch videos of professional portrait photographers at work, you might them using two, three, or even more lights in complex and intricate setups. And while those certainly have their place, you can still create fantastic images using only one light, and if you are new to artificial lighting, this is actually the better way to learn how to use it. This great video tutorial will show you a straightforward one-light setup for portraits and how to create professional portraits with it.
Imagine you can open up Lightroom and browse through the lighting setup (a graphic from top down) that shows you what you did during your shoot, where each photo has its lights, and the setup of these lights, all embedded. Would that be beneficial?