Recent Lighting Articles

Have You Ever Tried Using an Optical Snoot?

There are many modifiers out there, but there are almost always more than you realize. Here is a term you may have heard of, just not with optical in front of it, and it opens up a lot of room for creativity.

See How Peter Hurley Uses Natural and Continuous Light for Headshots

Most professional headshot photographers use strobes for their studio work, but of course, that does not mean you can't use continuous or even natural light for your work. This excellent video tutorial from the one and only Peter Hurley will show you how to use both natural light and continuous lighting for taking headshots.

5 Tips for Lighting the Background of a Portrait

When it comes to lighting for portraits, we mostly focus on learning how to light our subjects; after all, that is what the eye is drawn. But a complete image involves accounting for how the background is lit as well, and that can be the difference that makes your photos truly professional. This helpful video tutorial will give you five tips to improve the lighting of your portrait backgrounds.

How to Light and Shoot Portraits in the Rain

It is not something we do often, but shooting portraits in the rain can be a great way to give your images a different look that captures the eye. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to light and shoot compelling portraits in the rain.

She Dies Tomorrow: An Interview With Cinematographer Jay Keitel

She Dies Tomorrow has been celebrated for its unsettling sensibilities and unorthodox filmmaking techniques. Independent Spirit Award-nominated cinematographer Jay Keitel's work on the film is one of the main factors in the film's moody success. I recently had the chance to ask Keitel a series of questions about his approach to filmmaking on She Dies Tomorrow.

Using Fake Windows to Create More Interesting Light

When we learn about lighting, we most often focus on the quality of the light and all the things that contribute to that. However, light can be more than just that which gives you the correct exposure and renders your subject in a flattering manner. It can be used to add mood and interesting atmosphere to an image. This great video tutorial will show you one such example using a fake window to complete a shot's aesthetic.

Learn How to Shoot This Portrait With Off-Camera Flash

Outdoor portraits with a dramatic sky behind the subject are a popular and timeless look, but usually require an off-camera flash to get a proper exposure on your subject. If you are new to working with artificial lighting, this excellent video tutorial will show you how to use off-camera flash to balance ambient light and produce a compelling portrait.

A Simple Guide To Creative Light Painting in Your Images

Mastering light can mean many things, from the manipulation of natural light through to how to setup multiple strobes for a specific look. However, there are a few more niche techniques that are both incredibly fun and rewarding. One of these is light painting.

Make Your Indoor Portraits Look Like They Are Outside

Having a strong enough grasp on lighting to control your surroundings — no matter what they may be — can be a powerful tool. Here is a brief tutorial on how to make your indoor portraits look like they were taking outdoors.

Have You Used This Lighting Technique in Your Food Photography?

When working with lights, be they artificial or natural, the tendency when starting out is to light from the front, or at least at 45 degrees. But if you want to create something moodier, using your main light source as a backlight is possibly the quickest way to get something interesting.

Combining Flash With Continuous Lights for Creative Effect

“I only shoot natural light. I’m a natural light photographer.” I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve heard some variation of this statement. It doesn’t get any less silly each time I hear it, though. Why would anyone want to box themselves into doing only one thing?

How Understanding the Inverse Square Law Will Make You Better at Lighting

The inverse square law is one of the most fundamental and important concepts in lighting, and as such, any photographer working with artificial light should have a good understanding of it. If you are new to it, this helpful video tutorial will show you everything you need to know, from the way the law works to the practical consequences it has on your photos.

3 Tips for Creating Dramatic Lighting in Your Portraits

Lighting holds the keys to the overall feel of an image for the most part, particularly with portraiture. In this video, you will see behind-the-scenes of a dramatic, moody portrait shoot with some tips on how to replicate the style yourself.

Behind the Scenes of a Beautiful Portrait Shoot with Just One Low Cost Flash

Great portraiture can be created with anything from natural light to a studio full of the most expensive equipment, but if you — like most photographers — are closer to the natural light setup than a high-end studio, perhaps this video might show you just what you can produce with one, cheap light.

Behind the Scenes of This Fine Art Portrait: A Four Light Setup

There are few types of video more valuable than a good behind-the-scenes, particularly when it walks you through the process. Jump backstage in this tutorial to see how this beautiful, fine art portrait was taken with four lights and a purpose-built set.

The Only Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Umbrellas

How do you know if an umbrella costing $100 is any better than the $5 one? It's quite hard to tell the difference in terms of light quality, especially if you're a beginner. But I assure you, expensive light modifiers are quite different from the regular cheap ones. That difference is noticeable only after you've used them for some time.

An Interesting Two-Light Setup for Professional Portraits

Portrait lighting does not always have to be expensive or overly complicated. This excellent video tutorial will show you a professional portrait lighting setup that only requires two speedlights, two shoot-through umbrellas, and a reflector.

Transform a Photograph Using Flash

One of the quickest and easiest ways to completely change an image and make it more memorable is to add a flash.

Even Portrait Lighting With Just One Light

We're being treated to another short-form behind the scenes tutorial from Nathan Elson. This time, Elson is taking us into the studio to show us his techniques for using a single light to create soft even light across a subject.

How To Choose the Right Godox Modifier for Your Photography

The number of affordable lighting products available from Godox has exploded in the last few years. If you’re not sure which modifier will best suit your work, check out this in-depth video to help you make your choice.

3 Photography Skills That Will Pay Off Forever

Photography, like most crafts, has a number of strands to it. To become a master of the craft, there is a lot of ground to cover, but there are certain skills that will pay dividends for the rest of your career.

5 Tips for Creating Soft Light When Working With Strobes

Soft lighting is often more flattering, but if you are new to working with strobes, it can be a bit tricky to create it in a natural way. This excellent video tutorial will show you a one-light setup that will help you create soft light that is flattering and suitable for a range of portraits.

One-Light Product Photography

Given the global pandemic of COVID-19 (and the year that shall not be named), I very quickly found out that I am indeed, contrary to previously held opinions, an extrovert (and not an introvert). But given the situation, I wasn’t photographing people. What could I make that would work well with the images I already create? I do quite a bit of fashion and beauty work, so why not products that go with those?

How to Make On-Camera Flash Look Natural

Photographers generally avoid on-camera flash whenever they can, but there are situations in which you will not have another option. For those situations, there are certain things you can do to make the light look more natural, and this helpful video tutorial will show you what they are.

How a Cheap Umbrella Can Produce Professional Photographs

Lighting modifiers are a necessary tool for working with artificial light, but they can be quite expensive, and building a library can quickly drain your wallet. However, the humble umbrella is highly affordable, and you might be surprised by the shots you can create with them. This fantastic video tutorial will show you how to create professional profits using an umbrella.

Natural Light Versus Flash Versus Strobe

Roberto Valenzuela is a Canon Explorer of Light and is constantly pushing himself and others to learn the possibilities of light. In a recent project, he set out to take images of a single model with three different types of light (natural, flash, and strobe), and I asked him to talk us through the results.

Even Light for Full-Length Portraits

A little different from the last handful of episodes, Nathan Elson’s How I Got the Shot, Episode 7, moves into a darker-toned portrait set marked by its emphasis on moody overhead lighting.

How To Photograph Action in Studio

One area of photography that seems to be avoided by many newcomers is the use of a flash or strobe. I believe this is partially due to the additional cost of equipment and the learning curve involved; I know it was for me. Flash photography is undoubtedly one of those areas that require experience to be good at it.

Strobe Lighting for Beginners

Strobe lighting can seem quite daunting for the uninitiated, but once you get past any fear you might have and just dive into it, it really isn't that complicated. This straight-to-the-point introduction to strobe lighting is a great place to start.

Off-Camera Flash for Beginners

You can do quite a lot with natural light, but if you want to truly take full control of your photos, learning how to work with artificial light is the way to go. If you are wondering how to get started, this excellent video tutorial will guide you through the process of shooting outdoor portraits using a speedlight and affordable shoot-through umbrella.

How to Create High-Key Portraits With a Mix of Natural and Constant Light

The high-key look is quite popular in a variety of applications, as it produces a bright, punchy image that instantly draws the viewer's eye to the subject. You do not always need powerful strobes to achieve it, however. In fact, you can do it with nothing more than natural light from a window and a constant LED source, and this excellent video tutorial will show you how it is done.

How to Create Ultra-Soft Portraiture Light

Soft light is great for portraiture, offering a flattering rendering of your subject's features. This great video tutorial will show you how to create ultra-soft light for portraits.

A Fundamental Off-Camera Flash Technique

A lot of photographers struggle when they first start working with off-camera flash. One of the most fundamental and crucial techniques you will need to master is balancing your strobes and ambient light. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to do just that.

Creative Lighting Without Limits? Fstoppers Reviews the Godox TL60

Whether you’re a photographer or videographer, you know the difference lighting can make in creating a compelling shot. While there are dozens of tools and techniques you can leverage in your next shoot, the Godox TL60 tube light might offer the creative possibilities you’re looking for, particularly for video work. Want to see what makes it so special?

6 Lighting Setups To Take Your Reception Images To the Next Level

Reception lighting is where most photographers struggle the most. The chaos of the dance floor mixed with low-light shooting conditions make for a constant struggle. But these six lighting setups will help you take your reception images to the next level.

Learn How This Dramatic Nighttime Portrait Was Lit and Shot

Using multiple lights can enable complex and innovative creative opportunities that simply would not be possible with just a single light or natural light. This fantastic video tutorial will show you how this dramatic nighttime portrait was lit with three lights.

5 Lighting Techniques for Dark and Moody Cinematography

Though many shots are properly exposed from corner to corner, there are times where you want a darker scene, particularly if you're simulating nighttime. Here are five techniques for doing just that.

The Differences Between Various Popular Lighting Modifiers

When it comes to portraits, one of the most important decisions you can make is the choice of modifier. This great video will show you three common modifiers (softbox, parabolic umbrella, and umbrella) along with a lot of helpful example photos to show you how they will render your subject.