Special Lighting Guide: Lights!

In a still photography world, strobes were the gold standard of professional lighting gear.

Strobes & Flash In a still photography world, strobes were the gold standard of professional lighting gear. Prized for their combination of power and performance and for their ability to freeze a subject for maximum apparent sharpness, strobes continue to be top-level tools for just about any photo situation. Being a professional photographer... Read more

Tools Focusing Light

Create precisely shaped shafts of light with these essential modifiers fitted to your source

With almost all types of studio lighting, precision is paramount. Whether it’s separating a portrait subject from the background or placing a tiny sliver of light on one element in a tabletop still-life setup, when it comes to placing light precisely, broad lighting just won’t cut it. Whether you’re working to eliminate spill or you... Read more

Mastering Soft Light Photography

Little differences between light modifiers make for big changes in the look of a light

Any discussion of soft lighting tools begins with two classic modifiers: the softbox and the umbrella. From each of these devices has sprung a world of variations—so many that it can be difficult to know why to choose one modifier over another. Soft is a relative term, after all, and the little differences between modifiers produce subtle, but important,... Read more

Hi-Tech Studio: Monolights

As ideal lighting for studio or location photographers, monolights give you a great combination of power, control and portability

Today’s pros use two main types of light in the studio: electronic flash and continuous "hot" lights. Today’s pros use two main types of light in the studio: electronic flash and continuous "hot" lights. Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks. Hot lights are a topic for another article; this time we’ll look... Read more

Small Lights Big Effects

Get the most out of small strobes for big lighting effects when you need to work fast on location and don’t want to sacrifice an ounce of lighting control and quality

I’ve had my share of 90-second portrait sessions with important people who are short on time, and the ability to set up refined three-point lighting in no time flat can be the difference between getting the shot and going home with nothing. Photographer Corey Woodruff, a small-strobe specialist, once drove seven hours round-trip to shoot for three... Read more

Simplify Your Lighting

Less is often more when it comes to crafting beautiful illumination

I recently received a call from a commercial photographer who was to visit my city on assignment. Along with recommendations for assistants, digital techs and hairstylists, he also inquired about renting a basic lighting setup. "Only four or five packs," he said, "and maybe just eight or 10 heads." He would be bringing some more... Read more

Hi-Tech Studio: Continuous Lighting For Motion And Stills

LED technology makes a play for the spotlight

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are incredibly compact bulbs that consume very little power while throwing off absolutely minimal heat. Unlike traditional continuous lighting, this makes them efficiently designed fixtures particularly suitable for working in closed environments like photo studios. What’s more, the light produced by an LED bulb is... Read more

Mastering Photography Lighting Angles

Most professionals are well versed in lighting techniques for their particular subject matter.

Most professionals are well versed in lighting techniques for their particular subject matter. Food photographers know how to light food. Jewelry photographers know how to light jewelry; wedding photographers know how to light brides. We’re presenting the following excerpt from Light: Science & Magic by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua (Focal Press) because... Read more

Four Hot Lighting Looks

Everyone is looking for a way to make his or her images stand out from the crowd.

Blair Bunting (featured in the November 2010 issue of DPP) is a master of lighting for HDR shots like this. Bunting’s HDR is frequently somewhat muted, and he uses the lights to create separation in the frame. Everyone is looking for a way to make his or her images stand out from the crowd. Today, when the crowd is huge and websites are selling... Read more

The Balancing Act Of Flash On Location

As professional photographers let go of their expensive studio spaces and make the world their studio, it’s time to examine the needs of a photographer on the go.

As professional photographers let go of their expensive studio spaces and make the world their studio, it’s time to examine the needs of a photographer on the go. When studios were the norm, most pros had a space where they’d keep a number of power packs, stands, heads and all manner of modifiers. Today, we’re all working meaner and leaner, and... Read more

Hi-Tech Studio: An Option For Continuous Lighting

With DSLRs and video taking the photography and film worlds by storm, more and more photographers are looking to break into motion work.

With DSLRs and video taking the photography and film worlds by storm, more and more photographers are looking to break into motion work. With that in mind, some photographers who have been more accustomed to strobe lighting are finding that continuous lights for both still and video might be a better fit for their new workflow. Strobe lighting has... Read more

Misinformation: Lighting Tech

In a time when fewer pros have their own studio space, a compact lighting system can give you the options and versatility to get the job done anywhere

Myth: You Need Big Strobes In an economic slowdown, photographers look to cut costs as much as possible. In many cases, this has meant eliminating the studio and a lot of the expensive gear that often sits around taking up space in said studio. Thankfully, eliminating the studio, and therefore studio lighting, doesn’t really mean that your lighting... Read more
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