Recent Lighting Articles

The New Amaran F22c LED Light Is Crazy

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.

Learn How These Fantastic Portraits Were Lit and Shot

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.

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

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.

How to Use Lightroom and Photoshop to Sculpt the Light in a Photo

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.

How to Create a High Key Background and Rim Lights Using a Softbox

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.

4 Tips for Creating Window Light in Studio

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.

We Review the Aputure LS600x: A Viable Alternative to HMI Lights?

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.

What Is the Difference Between Speedlights, Monolights, and Packs and Heads?

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.

3 Straightforward Steps to Improve Your Portrait Lighting

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.

A Behind the Scenes Guide to Short and Broad Lighting

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.

Using Flash To Change Your Photo From Day Into Night

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.

An Easy and Effective On-Location Lighting Setup

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.

How To Turn Your Garage Into a Professional Portrait Studio

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.

The Ultimate Modifier? We Review Aputure F10 Fresnel

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.

How to Improve Your Photographs Using Negative Fill

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.

How to Use Flash to Shoot Better Portraits in the Sun

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.

5 Portrait Looks With Just One Background

You don't need a ton of equipment to create a number of looks in a single shoot. In this video, John Gress discusses which background you should go for if you're looking for maximum versatility, showcasing five different looks.

This Great Video Shows How Little You Need to Create Excellent Portraits

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.

Learn How to Light With Dani Diamond

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.

Should You Use Flash for Indoor Photography or Only a High-ISO Setting?

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.

Lighting Tips to Improve Your Portrait Photography

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.

How to Do Clamshell Lighting

There are lots of lighting techniques to learn, some simple, some complex, and they all offer something a bit different. One of my personal favorites is clamshell lighting and in this video, learn how to do it and when it will work particularly well.

Hard Light Versus Soft Light Explained

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.

A Simple Two-Light Setup for Dramatic Portraits of Couples

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.

8 Creative and Technical Tips for Better Long Exposure Photography

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.

Learn How to Create This Simple But Compelling One-Light Portrait

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.

How to Create a Pure White Background in Camera

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.

Check Out This Neat Trick for Creating Dramatic Light With a Shoot-Through Umbrella

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.

5 Rules of Lighting Every Photographer Should Know

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.

How to Create Hard Shadows and Soft Shadows in Your Photography

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.

How to Create Dramatic Headshots With Three Lights, One Light at a Time

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.

Classic Lighting Setups That Every Photographer Should Know

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.

Fstoppers Reviews the Sundisc Softbox

When is a softbox not a softbox? When it's a Sundisc. Here's a long-term review of a multi-talented light modifier that packs down to the size of a pack of small tortillas.

Learn How to Light, Shoot, and Edit This Eye-Catching Cosmetic Product Photo

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.

Learn How to Create This Festive Portrait With Just One Light

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.

What Is Diffusion and How Can You Use It to Improve Your Photos?

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.

How to Properly Use Bounce Flash

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.

The Photo Creators: A Boutique Conference for Hands-On Learning

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.

How to Light and Shoot This Classic Five-Light Hollywood Glamour Portrait

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.

Good Lighting Kits for Beginner Studio Photographers

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.

Could You Save This Messed-up Footage?

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.

Why You Should Avoid Using Rembrandt Lighting on Women

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.

The Best One-Light Portrait Photography Setup for Beginners

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.

What's the Advantage of Having Studio Setups Logged In Your Metadata?

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?