Recent Lighting Articles

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?

A Lesson on How Spotting Interesting Light Can Improve Your Street Photography

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.

A Full Edit Walkthrough of Light Painting a Porsche

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.

How to Balance Color Tones With the Blue and Orange Look

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.

How to Balance Ambient Light and Flash for Improved Portraits

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.

A Modern Approach to Film Photography With Flash

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.

Lighting 101: A Three-Point Lighting Tutorial

If you are looking to step beyond basic, one-light setups, it can be a little daunting at first. In this behind-the-scenes video, learn how effective a simple three-point lighting system can be.

A Comprehensive Comparison of Over 25 Lighting Modifiers

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.

A Basic, One Light Outdoor Flash Photography Tutorial

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.

Comparing Flash to LED Lights for Portrait Photography

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.

5 Portrait Lighting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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.

How I Created the Ultimate Photobooth for My Wedding

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!

How to Freeze Motion With Flash Photography

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.

Comparing the Westcott and Godox 400 Ws Strobes

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.

How to Create the Day Versus Night Portrait Effect In-Camera

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.

Behind the Scenes of a Medusa Halloween Photoshoot

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.

How to Make a Boring Location Look Cinematic

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.

How I Got the Shot: Lighting Studio Portrait With Photo Backdrop

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.

How to Fake a Sunset With Flash Photography Using Gels

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.

3 Easy Portrait Lighting Setups for Small Spaces

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.

5 Portrait Lighting Styles You Can Create With One Light

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.

Understanding How the Histogram Works in Photography

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.

How to Use Three Different Kinds of Hard Light for Portraits

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.

How to Create Window Light Using Flash

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.

How to Use the Sun to Backlight Portraits

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.

Creative Lighting Techniques You Can Recreate at Home

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.

Learn How to Create This Three-Light Setup for Featuring a Model's Physique

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.

5 Tips for Lighting Headshots From Peter Hurley

Few names are more synonymous with headshot photography than Peter Hurley. In this helpful video, he offers five fantastic tips on lighting for headshots that will improve your work in no time.

3 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Off-Camera Flash

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: A New Way to Tell Stories About Bands

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.

Why Do Photographers Use Flash Outdoors?

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.

How to Take Nighttime Portraits

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.

Transform Your Portraits With the 'Ring of Fire' Special Effect

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.

When and How to Use Soft and Hard Light

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.

An Easy One-Light Studio Portrait Photography Setup

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.

The End of the Strobe? We Review Viltrox's Weeylite Ninja 300

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.

How to Easily Set Up a Portrait With Paramount Lighting

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.

The Guilty: Making Movies With Intention in the Time of COVID

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.

How Shadows Can Improve Your Portrait Photography

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.

Three Different Ways to Light a Studio Background

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.

Off-Camera Flash for Beginners

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.

Replacing Strobes With Constant LED Lighting

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.

What is the Best Speedlite for Under $100?

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.