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.
Recent Lighting Articles
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?
Light makes or breaks most scenes, whether video or stills photography. In many genres, it's controllable and you can set it up how you like it. But with genres that are candid and wild — street photography for instance — you need to be able to identify brief opportunities as scenes and light interact.
Light painting might be a staple technique most photographers try and learn early on in their time with their first camera, but it has occasional commercial applications. One of the best examples of that is automotive photography. In this video, see an edit of a light-painted Porsche from start to finish.
There are many staple looks in cinematography and they are popular for good reason. One is the classic blue or teal and orange, and while it's easy to execute in theory, striking the right balance can be tricky. In this video, go behind the scenes of a video shoot to learn how they balanced everything out.
One of the most useful skills any portrait photographer can learn is the ability to balance both artificial and ambient light in a portrait. If you are learning how to work with artificial light and want to improve your skills, check out this great video tutorial that will show you how to balance natural light and flash to create better outdoor portraits.
When it comes to buying new lights, you first need to decide if you want a continuous light or flash, which can be a difficult decision if you shoot both photography and video work. But with the new Reflex S from StellaPro, you no longer need to decide.
Of course, flash photography existed long before the transition to digital. However, most modern film photography is shot in natural light, whether out of an aesthetic desire or because working with flash and film is a bit of a lost art. Nonetheless, just like digital, flash can open up a lot of creative possibilities, and this excellent video tutorial will show you a modern approach to doing so.
One of the beautiful things about mastering artificial lighting is that you open a huge range of creative options to yourself through the use and arrangement of modifiers. However, there are numerous modifiers available to photographers, and it can be tricky knowing which ones are right for your work. This fantastic video compares over 25 lighting modifiers to show you the way they will render your subjects and help you choose the ones you prefer.
If you're new to flash photography, or want to try it outside and off-camera, there are a few things to keep in mind. This behind-the-scenes video is a good introduction on how to get started.
When it comes to lighting for portrait photography, flash has long been the tool of choice. However, in recent years, constant lights have made some significant advancements, and with the advantages they offer, they can be a compelling alternative to traditional strobes. If you are wondering which is right for your work, check out this great video that details some of the differences between them as well as the pros and cons of each.
Lighting for portraits is a nuanced and tricky thing to learn, and it can be easy to make some mistakes along the way. If you are new to working with artificial lighting and looking to improve, check out this great video tutorial that features an experienced photographer discussing five common lighting mistakes portrait photographers make and how to fix them or avoid them entirely.
A wedding photo booth can be one of the most entertaining and memorable activities at your wedding. They can also be a total dud and waste of money. In this video, I share my top tips for building a successful photo booth for my wedding!
When it comes to freezing motion, shutter speed is normally the parameter of choice. However, if you are shooting in the studio and you have full control of the light, using flash can actually be the better choice. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to freeze motion using flash.
One of the biggest problems with comparing lighting systems is that there are endless variables to compare. If you are looking for a good strobe for studio or outdoor work, this video has a lot of information to give you a concise look at which one might be best for you.
In-camera special effects are a great and fun way to emphasize a story in photography. Many of these special effects that seem high production are actually quite easy to accomplish using the tools we already have or are easy to get. Today, I'll be showing you how to create one of my signature portraits, the Day vs. Night.
Halloween might not be my favorite "holiday", but it does bring with it some fantastic photoshoots. In this video, watch as Lindsay Adler creates some stunning Medusa-themed portraits using LEDs.
There will come a time — likely more than one — where you have to shoot in a dull location. While this can be disheartening, it's manageable if you know how to make it look more appealing. In this video, see behind-the-scenes of a shoot and how one cinematographer transforms any space.
We are not always fortunate to have the perfect background that matches the total vision of a shoot. The same goes for having a huge budget to build the set, which leaves a few options. Spend the time with compositions or use a printed backdrop to complete the scene. To save time, at least in my case, I opted to go with a printed backdrop for the shoot since there would be multiple images.
You can't control the weather, but you can control what the weather looked like. In this video, go behind the scenes of this shoot with a beautiful Porsche 911 GT3 RS and how one photographer made an overcast day look like an epic sunset.
When you are first starting out, you are not likely to be shooting from a dedicated studio. Most of us start out in a spare room at our home or the like, meaning we are in a tight space. That does not mean you can't take great photos in that small space, though, and this excellent video tutorial will show you three easy portrait lighting setups that work well in close quarters.
When you think of high-end portraiture, you might imagine multiple lights and complicated setups. The truth is, you can create a lot with just a single light. In this video, learn five techniques that can be replicated with a single light.
There are tools that many photographers neglect and this is one of them. The histogram is criminally underused, possibly because it isn't all that intuitive to beginners, but once you understand how to read it, it can keep you from making costly mistakes.
Portrait photographers spend a lot of time working on creating flattering light, and in photography terms, that almost always equates to soft light. However, hard light can be just as effective, particularly if you want to add a bit of drama or want to accent certain elements of your image. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to use three different hard lighting setups, including a gridded reflector, Fresnel lens, and parabolic umbrella.
The look of light coming through a window is one of the most recognizable out there, even to non-photographers, and it is something you will often want to replicate in the studio. Luckily, with a bit of know-how and some basic equipment, it is not particularly difficult to do, and this excellent video tutorial will show you how it is done.
One of the most classic and timeless portrait looks involves using the sun to backlight your subject and create a dramatic background. It is also an excellent way to develop your lighting skills and to learn how to balance ambient and artificial light, and this awesome video tutorial will show you everything you need to know to create them yourself.
The best place to practice photography, if it's possible, is in your own home. However, with few of us having acres of space to roam around in our own property, you need to get good at utilizing the space you do have. In this video, learn creative lighting techniques with speedlights even in smaller spaces.
While you can do a lot with natural light, the beauty of mastering artificial light is having the ability to craft your setup to exactly match your creative thoughts and technical needs. This great video tutorial will show you how to craft a three-light setup that is made to feature your model's physique.
What makes this LED light source a popular choice? What does it have over its competitors?
Learning how to work with off-camera flash can be a daunting task, and there are a lot of places where things can go wrong. If you are learning how to work with off-camera flash, this fantastic video tutorial will show you three common mistakes people make with it and how to fix them or avoid them entirely.
We Are Lady Parts, the story of an all-Muslim-female punk band in London, is a groundbreaking collaboration between creator Nida Manzoor and cinematographer Diana Olifirova. Not only is the plot compelling and refreshing, but Olifirova and Manzoor also use a variety of filmmaking techniques to develop character, move the story along, and visually excite their audience. I had a chance to speak with Olifirova about putting Manzoor’s project on screen.
Have you ever wanted to shoot sophisticated-looking portraits with the simplest lighting gear that you have in your bag?
If you are new to photography, it can seem a bit counterintuitive when you see photographers using flash outside when there is plenty of available natural light. However, there is a good reason for this, and this excellent video tutorial will show you both why and how to do it.
Normally in portraiture, you get a high level of control over the lighting, but in some scenarios (weddings, for example), you will have to think, light, and shoot on your feet. This excellent video tutorial will show you several ways to shoot nighttime portraits with a variety of different techniques and for a range of different creative looks.
There's a good chance you've heard of the "Ring of Fire," a technique popularized by wedding and portrait photographer Sam Hurd. The Ring of Fire is a special effects technique that uses a piece of copper tube to reflect light and create a highlight flare in the shape of a ring. This technique has been widely adopted, and to create this effect for yourself is pretty easy. Today, I'll be walking through the steps to transform your portraits using the famous Ring of Fire technique.
There are many combinations and properties of light, all of which have different consequences and effects on both the technical and creative aspects of your images. One of the most fundamental properties every photographer needs to know is the hardness of light, and this excellent video tutorial will show you both when and how to use soft and hard light for portraiture.
When you are new to artificial lighting, it can be a bit tricky to try to take in all the terminology, techniques, and creative practices at the same time, and as such, it is important to make sure you start out the right way. The best way to begin learning is by working with a single light, and this great video tutorial will show you an effective one-light setup for creating compelling portraits.
Viltrox has released a new single-color LED continuous light under their Weeylite brand. At $179 for the base package, it's a compelling option. So, is this the end of the strobe? Find out in this exclusive Fstoppers review.
One of the first lighting techniques I learned in graduate school was Paramount lighting. It's an easy way to come up with consistently solid portraits of almost anyone. Here's a quick tutorial from Adorama and fashion photographer Lindsey Adler on how to get that just right.
Intention in filmmaking has the potential to elevate movies. As a photographer, watching a movie with thoughtful cinematography is my favorite way to pass a Friday night. Maz Makhani’s work on The Guilty, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Antoine Fuqua, is an example of realizing this potential.
When we learn about lighting in portrait photography, we mostly focus on where to add light and how to shape it, but the presence of light is only made impactful by the mutual presence of shadows. Shadows can be a fantastic tool not just for contrast but to create a sense of drama or to tell a story with your images. This fantastic video tutorial will walk you through the process of lighting a portrait image with carefully crafted shadows to show you just how powerful they can be.
When we are first learning how to work with artificial light, we generally focus on getting things right with the subject, but the mark of a professional is controlling light across the entire frame, including the background. This helpful video tutorial will show you three different ways to light your studio backgrounds to produce better images.
How can you turn a corner of your home into a pleasant video background? Here are the basics of creating a better background and lighting setup for your videos, vlogs, and calls.
Learning artificial lighting is something that strikes fear in the heart of a lot of photographers, but it does not have to be a scary, unknown thing. If you are new to working with off-camera flash, this helpful video tutorial will get you up and running in no time.
Strobes are at the core of any serious studio photographer's kit, mainly because they're cheap and powerful. However, as you can see from this video, constant LED lights are catching up fast and are now a real option for anyone looking to try something different with their portrait work.
If you're new to photography and want to dip your toe in the waters of flash, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start. There are speedlites ranging from cheap through to expensive by anyone's standards, and it can be difficult to delineate which option is the best value. Here is one photographer's answer to the best low-cost speedlite.
What is the greatest challenge you faced on a photoshoot? Your answer may very well include time pressure, an annoying art director, lack of gear, unknown locations, and much more. This is exactly what Profoto did to some four photographers who were asked to only take their camera to a secret location.