How To Mix Candlelight With Flash in the Studio

Candlelight can create some beautifully atmospheric images but using it to light a model can be a challenge given that it’s typically a small and unflattering source that’s not necessarily going to be in the right place to give the desired effect. This video shows you how to mix it with a strobe to get great results.

Gavin Hoey from Adorama runs you through how to achieve striking photos in this short video, taking advantage of the inverse square law and some simple tricks in Photoshop. This is where shooting on a tripod in the studio is an advantage, both freeing you up little to adjust your scene, but also giving you the option to blend different images together afterwards.

You can achieve similar results with a continuous LED light source that allows you to control the color temperature. Candlelight is around 1000 Kelvin — far more orange than daylight which is regarded as having a default of 5,600 Kelvin, though of course, it can vary massively, typically between 4,500 and 7,000 Kelvin. You might still require a gel or some careful editing in post as even relatively high-end continuous LEDs tend not to go much lower than 3,000 Kelvin.

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Marc Bee's picture

I do a lot of shoots with candlelight. I use small LED lights with CTO filters to enhance the subject when the candles alone aren’t enough.

Sam David's picture

Very useful. I also try to have as dark a backdrop or background as possible, minimally lit from the side..