Working in studio presents a ton of lighting options, so how do you choose? Here are some examples of different light set ups that will give you variety in your work.
Working in a studio with both natural light and strobe light gives you the ability to use a multitude of different light set-ups, but it can also present a bit of a problem when you're trying to decide how to light a shoot. Should I use natural light? Strobe only? A combination of both?
In this video, I explain each light set up I use and what each one does.
1. Backlight from a window with bounce light from the front as fill
This set up has a very natural, casual, relaxed feel that is great for when you start a session as you get comfortable with posing and communicating with your model. It can also be done with a large octabox or strobe fired through a scrim from behind. Bouncing the fill light off the opposite wall (or a large v-flat) gives a large, soft fill that feels very natural.
2. Bare bulb through an open octabox
The hard light mimics sunlight, and is a great way to fake it on rainy days when you had planned to take advantage of the sun.
3. Strobe key light and natural light fill
There's no reason not to take advantage of natural light for fill when you have it, and it offers the added benefit of letting you control the fill with the flick of the dial rather than altering the power of the strobe if you want to alter the contrast. In this situation, the light ratio is low and bright so it's got a very catalog feel.
4. Window Light
Window light is easy and available, you simply shoot what you see! The trick is to make sure that the light is hitting your subject the way you want, and that it's bright enough so that you don't have to sacrifice too much in ISO, Shutter speed, or Aperture.
5. Experimental light
Experimenting with light can give you all kinds of interesting results. In this case, I wanted to create some interesting shadows, and maybe create light that looked like it was coming down through a high window.
6. 3 light set up
The model requested a specific style of light that we used the last time we worked together, which is one large key light and two rim lights. In this situation, the model is only getting the edges of the light from the rim light sources so they're fairly soft. This style of lighting has a very clean, commercial feel.
These are only a few of the ways light can be used, and each set-up can be modified in many ways as well. If you take nothing else away, I hope that seeing these vastly different light set ups reminds you that there is a world of lighting magic at your fingertips, so get out and start trying things.
If you decide to try some of these set ups, I hope you share the results!