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Lesson: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lights and Simple Portraits´s archives ↓

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 01

Understanding Light

Lighting is a key ingredient in defining a successful photo. Without light, there would be no photography or life as we know it. Think of how light affects the world around us. The landscape is shaped by light and gives you a visual story in showing the layout of the land by defining textures within the landscape. In the studio, lighting for a portrait provides you the visual information about that person, the color of their hair, the shape of their face, and the color of their eyes, and tells us who they are. Lighting is used very successfully in photographing products in which the photo entices us to buy a product. Lighting techniques make food look better to us, a car more appealing, a model sexier. In this lesson we will discuss a variety of different types of light, light quality, and light direction. Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 02

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 03

These four images show the same light angles. The left portrait is frontal beauty lighting while the second portrait is 45 degree light. The beer is lit from the side and the climber is backlit, creating a silhouette.Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 04

INVERSE SQUARE LAW

This is another important fact about light. The illumination of a light source varies inversely by the square of the distance from the source. Huh? When you move a light source away from the subject, the light falls off.  If you have a light source three feet from your subject and move it to six feet from your subject, the light fall off will not be by half, but rather be 25% of the original light value at 3 feet.Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 05

CONTROLLING FLASH AND AMBIENT

The rule:  Shutter speed controls Ambient light, f/stop or aperture controls flash. This can be difficult to understand, but is really quite simple.  The shutter speeds on your camera controls the length of time that light is allowed to expose the picture.  F/stop or aperture only controls the amount of light that exposes your picture. Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 06

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 07

EQUIPMENT

There is a vast array of lights and accessories that can be applied to your lighting needs and each creates a different quality of lighting effects. In this lesson we will cover the basic equipment needed for commercial product photography and what type of light each produces.  First, consider the other equipment that should accompany your lights.Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 08

Reflectors:

Most lights come with reflectors and they usually average around 7” in size. These reflectors are usually silver and are meant to reflect the light coming from the flash. The size and surface of the reflector determines the spread of the light and the quality. A 7” reflector has around an 80 degree spread and a silver reflector will produce a light that has more contrast than a white 7” reflector.  A 22” reflector creates a much broader spread of light and is used as the key light, often by itself.Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 09

Light Boxes

This lighting accessory also comes in a variety of sizes from extra small to extra large and can be custom built for very large product needs, such as cars. The size of light spread and highlight needed for your subject will determine the size of light box you should use.  Light boxes, also called Soft Boxes, produce soft light similar to umbrellas. But because the box is enclosed and has an abrupt edge, the light spread is much more, narrow than an umbrella. This is helpful for controlling the spread of light on subjects and backgrounds. Keep in mind that different manufacturers make their box sizes different than each other. One company large may be bigger or smaller than their competitors.

 

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 10

Fill Cards

There will be some situations where you will not choose to use a fill light to fill in shadows, yet you need to manage the contrast from the main light. A white card such as Foam Core, or reflector panels from Light Form or Lite Disc work well when placed next to the subject and are designed to bounce light into the shadow areas. Join Great Photography Courses today. Get instant access to this course.
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