Photography lighting, or rather lighting for photography is the most significant aspect of image capturing. To illustrate it, you just need to do a simple task. First, close your eyes. what do you see? If the answer is nothing, that’s exactly what photography is without light. So, you might now be clear on the vitality of lighting when photography is concerned. Read on to find out how different kinds of lighting will help your photography.
What Does Photography Lighting Mean?
There are two ways to capture light using your camera. One is natural light, which is the most widely used because it is already there! The sun gives it to us for free, so it would be silly not to take advantage. The other is artificial light which, added to our scene from flash or continuous lighting. Ambient light is another term that you need to be aware of, and it can be natural or artificially present.
Natural Light vs. Flash lighting:
There are two main light sources that we use in our photography. One is natural, which is always present, given to us by the sun, and also reflected by the moon. The other is flash or strobe. These are best used while shooting but possibly added during the post-processing stage.
They both have their benefits, and you’ll find that you can use both at the same time. You just need to compensate to gain a correct white balance. Natural light is free and useful for everything from street to architecture to portraits to wedding photography. It can be difficult to control. Flash lighting is expensive, especially compared to natural lighting, yet it can be easily controlled. Typically used in fashion and product photography.
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How to Take Control of Natural Light with Photography
Most photographers love natural light. It is free, it’s abundant and easy to work with. To harness the full power, you will need to diffuse or even flag the light. One recommendation is to know how you can use your reflectors effectively. By bending and warping the reflector, you can change how the light hits the subject. By making it concave, you help to intensify the light and create a spotlight, rather than a soft lighting effect.
What’s The Best Time to Take Natural Light Photos Outside?
Natural light has many advantages. It’s free, abundant as is right with you where ever you go. At midday, the sun is at it’s strongest, no matter where you are. At other times of the day, natural light changes. The golden hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset. This gives your scene a ‘golden’ warmth to it. The time of the year also denotes how the light plays with your subject.
When You Should and Should NOT use a Flash
When to use a flash is one of the most asked questions regarding photography. Some photographers steer clear from it, as they want to remain candid shooters. A flash can add a significant change to your images, day and night. You can use it as a main light or even a fill to an otherwise well-lit scene. There are times when a flash is a big no-no. Some events or concert photography makes using a flash impossible.
How to Use a Wireless Flash Trigger
A wireless flash trigger lets you control an off-camera flash. Here, the Speedlight flash connects to a wireless hot-shoe which connects to a transmitter. This sits on your camera’s hot-shoe. The signal is sent wirelessly, allowing you to place your flash anywhere. Perfect for scenes where a flash on your camera is detrimental. It is a very simple device to use, as long as you get the right one.
What Is a TTL Flash? TTL vs Manual Flash Modes
A TTL (Through the Lens) flash uses your cameras onboard metering system. This allows the flash to intelligently ‘judge’ how much light to pump into the scene. This can be a hit or miss, as it really depends on your scene and metering mode used. For example, spot metering mode forces the flash to add enough light just for that single point. When using evaluative, the flash will add enough light to bring up the exposure of all objects. This can lead to over-exposure and loss of details. Perfect for high-key photography though.
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Lighting Equipment plays a key role: Equipment such as lighting kits also play a very prominent role, as they could be the deciding factor to get amazing pictures. So, here are a few best lighting kits to help you enhance your picture quality.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- This HPUSN softbox is ideal for use in studios. Whether it’s portrait shooting, newborn photoshoots or still life shots, this softbox helps to create the perfect lighting for indoors shooting, making photos more attractive.
- The softbox is made of high-quality materials and sustains good reflective performance in a relatively closed environment and under long-term bulb heating.
- With an independent locking knob, the studio softbox can rotate 210° to suit at different angles perfect photoshoot with 1/4-Inch Standard Screw Thread Tip. The three-section column design, collapsing down to 66cm, can extend up to 200cm. Constructed from aluminum alloy, the light stand features excellent strength.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- Spreads out even light: White translucent umbrellas are used as an inexpensive and effective way to spread out even light. It is one of the best lighting modifiers for beginning flash photographers.
- Soften light with natural shadows: The soft light casts more gentle shadows on the subject than if the photo was taken without the umbrella.
- A plain white umbrella will offer a neutral color of light. Carry case is made of premium quality nylon material.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- MOUNTDOG photography lighting comes with a standard E27 socket, (4 x 135W) CFL bulbs supplied are equal to the 1350W incandescent bulb in total to save energy up to 80%. The softness of the shooting makes the shooting object more beautiful and moving. Importantly, it will not irritate your eyes.
- The boom arm gives you a much wider range of choices of position; help you find the perfect lighting spot. The photography lighting kit comes with a free carrying bag, which is very convenient for moving around.
- Softbox lighting angle can be adjusted to 210°, helps to achieve perfect lighting effect at different angles, offer more choice. With an independent lock button, you can set the desired angle in a few seconds so that you can use the softbox as a main light or additional light at will.
- Well-built with aluminum alloy, lightweight and durable, the studio lights stand is adjustable, collapsing down to 27.5” and extending up to 80’’. Ideal for portrait, studio, photography, video and much more.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- The StudioFX lighting system comes with two softboxes and an overhead softbox. This studio portrait video lighting kit is easy to use and setup. These lights work great with digital DSLR cameras. It is ideal for all level photographers and primarily used for photo and video lighting.
- The boom overhead light provides unobtrusive lighting for your studio set up. Easily rotate the boom arm to get the perfect angle. Counterweight and sandbags are included to help balance the stand.
- Studio quality four-light bank holder provides better performance by eliminating glare and distributing even lighting. With multiple on/off switches, you will have total control over brightness.
- The softbox system is perfect for portraits, product shots, and video. This is a complete studio kit. Nothing additional is needed to make this system work.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- High Color Rendering: Raleno lighting kit renders soft light with 5500K color temperature, and high fidelity of light which can fully present photographic details.
- Uniform Light: The soft light box processes the light to achieve uniform light, makes the light soft, shows the image tension, and reduces the post-editing work.
- Color Reproduction: The softbox helps the photographer to complete the shooting work profoundly, restore the physical colors, and make the picture express the photography pattern or unique photographic style.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- Belle Max Photography Lighting Kit includes 6000K LED E27 CFL bulb, two softbox sets, umbrellas, background support system, backdrop Tall High Output Light Stand, adjustable reflector, 3 clips, a carrying bag, and a carrying case. The weight of the whole package is 17.7lb.
- Photography Lighting Kit comprises 6000K professional photography LED bulbs, durable, energy-saving, high intensity and general E27 socket. They are all ¼ screw and compatible with all major photo equipment. Independent switch control light on/off safely and conveniently.
- Has Photo Studio Background Support System – The maximum load of the stand is 11lb, good flexibility with Height adjustment.
- The silver side is very reflective and brightens both shadows and highlights. The gold side works the same way while adding a warmer color to the image.
- The softbox set is an ideal choice for youtube portrait video and shooting, easy to set up and use.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- VILTROX photography lighting kit is suitable for studio lighting, video shooting, youtube video recording, Photographic track lighting, outdoor photography and painting.
- There are two types of LED’s in the front, half of them are tungsten balanced which is 3300K, and the other half are daylight balanced 5600K. You can adjust the color temperature (3300K-5600K) with ease with its dial.
- Comes with a very nice carrying case. It is so easy to transport. The remote controller is very convenient and can control multiple lights from one remote. Also, you can adjust and change the color temperature while using the remote.
- The VL-S192T LED light has the barn doors on the light. They help control spill, allow you to focus a highlight onto the subject’s face. It gives it a great deal of versatility in aiming/controlling the direction of the light.
- This lighting kit is excellent for short burst photos or videos where you need a little bit of extra light for 15-20 seconds. While not useful for an interview, when you’re shooting b-roll or slow-motion, 15-20 seconds is all you need!
- The light comes with a wall adapter, which can allow you to power the light for longer periods. Also, this photography lighting kit can be powered by two Sony NPF style batteries which is a huge plus in terms of the versatility of this light.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- Julius Studio’s continuous lighting kit features easy & quick installation, portability, and whole photo studio package. Its striking quality will bring professional and amateur photographers both flexibility & capabilities around the photo studio environment.
- White wood floor pattern backdrop for clear, realistic high definition picture. Energy Saving Compact Fluorescent Spiral Bulb – Saves energy up to 80%. Color Temperature: 6500K
- Max power can be used 105W energy saving bulb. Lamp base E26/E27
Why buy this lighting kit?
- Neewer Photography Lighting Kit includes 5600K Strobe Flash with 75W Modeling Lamp, three Softboxes, Light Stand, Wireless Trigger, Wireless Receiver and a carrying bag.
- The light intensity is quite strong enough, can be handheld or mounted on a light stand; can work as main light, backlight or hair light, and form different kinds of layout lighting
- Light stand with adjustable height is capable of stable and heavy-duty work. And it uses quick single action locks, providing fast precision height adjustment
- Softbox diffuses the light and gives you perfect even lighting when you need for the best shots possible has been assembled and disassembled but never used. Removable front cover for camera lens access to the interior
- The wireless trigger controls discreteness for camera to trigger hot shoe flashgun synchronously; sync speed for 1/200 second; Max. Working distance reaches at 30 meters.
Why buy this lighting kit?
- Linco Table Top Photography Lighting Kit with unique patented design has “V”-shaped handle for easy adjustment and increased grip. Premium polyamide construction, durable double-layered socket. One-piece unibody manufacturing, cross-section reinforced backing.
- The Morning Glory Softbox is capable of changing the radius, intensity & direction of light by transforming into an adjustable snoot. By pulling the drawstring, experience the freedom of controlling light for all your lighting applications.
- Has the premium photography studio spherical LED light bulb lights to deliver true and crisp colors with an accurate CRI. And day-light light bulb is balanced at 5000K, which allows them to be combined easily with ambient, window light for supplemental lighting.
- The light stand collapses easily and is very lightweight to carry. Light stands arrive with a 1/4″ standard screw tip on the top, perpendicular mounting stud head. Turning knobs are reinforced and durable. Light stand legs are built to last and specially designed to keep your load balanced, and able to hold most of the lighting equipment making it a perfect compact light stand.
Best Tips For Bounce Flash Photography
A bounce flash is a great way to light a subject. especially if you’re looking for a soft-lighting exposure. Harsh light isn’t the best fit for all types of photography. Perhaps the subject in front of your camera has a light color range. With bounce flash, you retain the details within it. How do you bounce the light? As your Speedlight or flash utilizes a swivel head, it can be turned many ways. This allows you to point the light source to walls, ceilings, and reflectors.
How to Use Fill Flash?
Undoubtedly, we will deal with situations where the scene will have varying degrees of exposure. The background might be lighter than your subject. Here, a reflector can bounce a little more light back into the shaded areas. For a stronger light source, consider using a flash. By adding a little light from a flash, you can bring out the details that fall into shadow. This light is known as a fill flash. This is a very handy trick to know, especially for situational portraits.
Types of Artificial Studio Lights – Fluorescent, Strobe, LED or Tungsten?
There are many different types of artificial studio lights available. Every light, whether Strobe, LED, Tungsten or Fluorescent have different purposes. For example, LED lights last long and rarely need replacing. Yet, their strength is sub-par when compared to strobe. On top of this, you’ll notice that each light adds a different color cast to your subject.
Studio lighting can become very expensive, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. There are ways around most of the equipment that you think you need. The main light in a studio setting is a key light, the second being the fill, as it fills in the shadows left by the key. A fill light can be a separate light, but why spend the extra money? A reflective surface in the form of white foam boards or a dedicated reflector works perfectly.
Getting the Most From Your Modifiers
A modifier is best described as an add-on to your studio lighting system. Studio lights are very plain tools until you add modifiers. With these add-ons, you can diffuse the light, you can turn it into a very strong and intense spot for very precise lighting. Any number of different lighting situations can come from a handful of these modifiers.
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How to Use Window Light for Portraits?
Window light is a great way to add light to your subject. Not only is it free to use, but you can also harness it in many ways. A diffuser can make it softer, and used with a reflector can create extra fill light. Just make sure you use it at the right time of day. The one thing you’ll need to consider is using it alongside artificial lighting. Natural light tends to be warmer, so use an additional warm light source.
How To Use Ambient Lighting For Atmospheric Portraits?
Ambient lighting allows you to capture atmospheric portraits. When we talk about this style of lighting, it is usually associated with natural light. This is something that can’t be easily controlled. But, it can be manipulated using props, tools or flags.
Lighting A Model With A Torch
You will very often see that areas that look well lit, come out very dark when photographed. The main problem is that our eyes compensate a lot in low light conditions. Photography in these situations needs a boost. Either adding the available ambient light or using an external light, such as a flash unit or lamp. What if you are in the middle of nowhere, and there are no plugs around? Well, a torch is a photographer’s friend. It’s lightweight and very portable.
How to Create Dramatic Lighting in Portrait Photography?
Soft lighting can be great for professional headshots. But, it isn’t great at adding that dramatic look you might be searching for. Dramatic lighting adds mood, tension, and interest. Some of your portraits will call for this style. Look at adding contrast through a harsh or strong light. Shadows are a great way to add that dramatic feeling too.
How to Use Low Key Lighting for Dramatic Photography?
Low key lighting is in opposition to high key lighting. Here, you focus on keeping the majority of the scene dark, while only illuminating the subject. This style is best achieved with a light source that can be manipulated and controlled. The use of snoots, flash modifiers and flats are very important.
How to Use Butterfly Lighting for Portraits?
Butterfly lighting is achieved from using one light source, usually an artificial light, such as a speedlight. The name is derived by the shape of the shadow that falls under the subjects’ nose. As the light is placed directly above the camera, facing downwards at a 45° angle, it leaves a slightly shaded area.
Low Key Lighting:
This is a very minimal lighting setup where the majority of the image is black. This is relatively easy to do if you have a lot of light. The purpose is to highlight a specific area of the model where the viewer will place their focus. The ambient light should be as low as possible. There should be no light other than the flash or ‘strobe’ unit you are working with.
How to Use Short and Broad Lighting in Portrait Photography
There are many different ways you can use light to capture your portraits. They are usually connected to the shadows the lights leave behind on the subject’s face. Short and broad lighting are common ways to light a subject. They can be used to add interest, contrast or highlight a specific part of the person’s face. A broad light allows the lighter part of someone’s face to be closest to the camera. Short lighting setups concentrate more on the shadows that form.
How to Use a Rim Light for More Powerful Portrait Photography?
Rim lighting lets you focus detail around the edge of a subject. It usually relates to a person’s head, yet it can be used for the entire body. To use this type of lighting scenario, you might need more than one light. The idea is to better separate your subject from the background. Not only does it help to stop the two elements from converging, but it also adds depth to your image. An aesthetic image is more pleasing to the eye.
Photographing in Dappled Light:
Dappled light is the perfect addition to portrait photography. Not only does it add interest, but it completely changes the mood and meaning of the image. There are many ways you can achieve this lighting effect. It is easier than you think. With a little forethought and planning, you can create some dramatic portraits. By utilizing nature, or creating something from scratch, you’ll be able to play around with shadows and highlights. It might just be the best thing you ever tried.
Common Photography Lighting Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Mistakes happen so that you learn from them and expand your photography lighting repertoire. You do need to know where you are going wrong so that you can learn how to create better lighting systems. One common mistake is having the fill light in the wrong position, or at the wrong power setting. This can cause double catchlights in the eyes, or create an image where you can’t distinguish between key or fill light.
Natural Light in Product Photography
Natural light is great for product shots, it is abundant, constant and free to use. A diffuser is needed to soften the light to allow it to fall upon the product evenly. Reflectors create ‘fill light’ by bouncing the light back into the image. It can be difficult to harness and control. Yet you can do so with a material, such as a white curtain. This softens the sun’s brightness. Flags, which stop light, can keep sunlight from reaching certain parts of the product.
A studio is a great way to photograph a product as you have complete control over the setting and the light. This is by far the most expensive option as you will need to buy all the equipment yourself. An alternative could be that you rent the studio, and have access to all the equipment. This may be cheaper, but still not cheap. Creating a portable studio with a few lights is a viable option to keep costs down. This would allow you to pack the equipment away and take it along for an on-location photoshoot.
How to Light Macro Subjects?
Whether you are photographing food or insects, your image might benefit from some extra light. These can be in the form of natural light, used with a reflector or from an external unit like a flashgun or ring flash.
How to Use Natural Light for Amazing Landscape Photography?
Natural light is the perfect way to light any landscape scene. Different light comes at different times of the day. Seasons and weathers bring their own touches. These different temperatures and intensities of light only benefit your landscape photograph. They can add contrast, texture and color casts. If you’re looking for ways on how to boost your landscape photography, utilize the light. It can make all the difference.
How to Photograph Lightning for Maximum Impact?
Lightning is one of nature’s mysterious joys. Frightening yet electrifying at the same time. You would think that it’s somewhat complicated to capture. But, you’d be wrong. If you have a digital camera and a tripod, it’s easy enough for all levels. The difficult part is finding a suitable location. You’re never sure where the lightning strikes will happen. But when it does, you’ll be ready.
How to Shoot Street Photography in Any Light: From Rainy Days to Bright Sunshine?
The weather can change at the drop of a hat. One of the areas that are affected by this is street photography. You may think that adverse weather would make for poor images. For portrait photography, you might be correct. Street photography can benefit greatly from sleet, snow or even angry clouds bringing rain.
How To Get Creative With Fairy Light Photography?
Fairy lights are a versatile way to light a subject. They add a minute amount of light, which can be placed very close to the subject you are capturing. What makes them so special is their size. The wire they sit on helps you attach, wrap or even curl around almost anything. You’ll also find they are perfect for bokeh purposes. Use them to add interest to the background, or a hint of interest in the foreground.
On the whole, we have penned all the necessary info, tips and ideas related to the photography lighting along with a few lighting kits. And for more info on photography, do visit smartcamerasblog.com.