I’ve recently started polishing my photography skills and it made me realized you don’t only need a great camera to be a great photographer but you should also know the art of controlling and manipulating light correctly in order to get the great results. It determines not only brightness and darkness, but also tone, mood and the atmosphere. I decided to make a list of few tools that might help you to get the best texture, vibrancy of color and luminosity on your subjects.
So, What is studio lighting?
A “photograph” is a “light drawing” (from the Greek, phos meaning “light,” andgraphê meaning “drawing”). The best way to control that light is by providing your own.
Now you must be thinking isn’t that sun’s job?
Well, The sun is just TOO BRIGHT. You can use shade and translucent fabric to reduce the light, but sunlight reflects off everything so it can get really tricky. For full control over lighting, you need a studio.
Yes, A Studio!
No, you don’t need to spend money to buy a fancy studio. A “studio” is a workroom (from the Latin studere, meaning “to study”). You just need a location where you can get rid of sunlight and have enough space to move around with your subject and equipment.
Turn your home into a Studio!
We have a location, now we need equipment to get started. Here are some of the tools you’ll be using:
Studio flash is about placing the source of light away from the camera, so stands are important. They support the heads of the flash, which ensures they can be placed at the correct distance and angle to the subject.
Most of the kits have two flash heads. There is a modeling light along with a flash tube Most of them have a switchable ‘ slave ‘ that allows one flash to be activated by another, so you only need to connect your camera to one of the flash heads.
The flash is focused into the brolly, thus reflecting the light back to the subject. Different reflective surfaces are available – usually black, silver or gold.
Softbox produce a cleaner, usually more flattering light. All you need is to figure out how to assemble these tent-like devices.
Snoot and honeycomb
These tools help focus the light. They are ideally suited to be used as backlights or to isolate a specific part of an image.
In a studio lighting setup, a simple reflector can be really useful, if you are using only one light. Use it the same way you would use the natural light – reflecting light back onto your subject to fill in any rough shadow area.