I have my own studio lights and also access to a studio at UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) as I do my freelance work from there. So, I’ve been reading books, blogs and googling techniques on how to light a subject.
Here are some tips I have acquired about studio lighting from the book lighting for portrait photography by Steve Bavister:
- Persuading you’re subject to face the window adds detail to the face and creates a strong profile. (Shoot this at a shutter speed of 1/250 and an aperture of f5.6).
- Placing your subject facing out of a doorway gives strong illumination.
- A reflector beneath a subject and a tilted camera angle adds impact to a simply lit but powerful portrait. (Shot at 1/125 shutter speed)
- The clam shell set-up: this is where a subject is seated, and you place the light above her and maybe a reflector below her.
- The typical studio set-up is when you place one light to one side of the subject and one light behind her.
- Using a light and a jumbo umbrella gives lots of lighting control (Shoot at a shutter speed of 1/400 and an aperture of f11.)
- The further you take a light to one side the more moody and dramatic it becomes.
- Photographing people wearing glasses requires a high lighting position.
Below are a few more tips from DIY Photography:
- Beauty Dishes add a natural catch light to your images.
- For a two light set-up use an octobox and fill light with a colour gel: an orange or yellow gel will add a warmer tone to your portrait. Try this on f1.8.
- Old guys with beards photograph better with no soft boxes.
Below is a video tutorial from DIY Photography: Lighting By Elaine Torres
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post let me know in the comments. Read more for more tips and tricks.
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