Lighting for athlete portraits

lighting for athlete potraitsIn the article below, we get a peak inside the brain of Cuarezma, photographer of the World Cup’s US Soccer team. The athlete portraits were taken outdoors, but used a ton of controlled lighting (think 10 soft boxes!) to supplement the natural light.

My favorite part of the article was the sketched notes where he is thinking through how to get the most versatile collection of athlete portraits in a short amount of time. He has it set up to capture 30 athletes in 30 minutes, getting 4 unique shots of each player. By having a white backdrop behind the subject and a black board at a right angle, he was able to get a front shot with a white background and a profile shot with a black background with no change in setup and almost no down time between shots. Continue…

Studio lighting: painting with light

Once discovered, studio lighting can become a photographer’s best friend. With studio lighting, you are no longer having to wait for golden hour or the perfect cloudy day to capture your subject, you can recreate perfect lighting any time of the day or night with a little bit of knowledge and practice. As a photographer who loved shooting outdoor portraits, once I begin to understand the extent of control and possibilities of controlled lighting setups, I was hooked!

With studio lighting, a photographer can literally “paint” his or her subject with light and shadows. By deciding where on the subject you want a shadow to fall and choosing the right type of light source, the manipulation of light and shadows on your subject is endless. And even more importantly for a beginning studio photographer, it is predictable and repeatable. Light travels in a straight line until it hit something where it is either absorbed or reflected.

Continue…

Product photography lighting: Don’t forget the shadows!

Both light and shadows work to create perfect product photography lighting

Both light and shadows work to create perfect product photography lighting

We all know that product photography is all about the light, but don’t forget that what makes the light perfect is the inclusion of shadows. In the video tutorial below, Alex Koloskov, walks through the process of first removing the shadows with well place diffusers and then bringing gradients and shadows back onto the image in order to really capture the life and feel of a shiny object in the end photograph.

One of the more difficult things to grasp when you first start working with studio (controlled) lighting is that you can’t have light without shadows. A professor I had in film school called it “painting with light,” a phrase I always loved. In order to paint with light, you are placing light on one plane or part of your subject which in turn creates an opposing shadow on another part of your subject. If you over-light your subject by filling in shadows and adding light on every part of your subject, you end up with flat, boring light with minimal shadows (good for green screen work!). Continue…

Studio Lighting: Unravelling the Complexity of Multiple Lights

Experimenting with studio lighting

As one gets started in studio lighting I think it is pretty common to get over ensconced in the lighting scenarios. It is funny because everything you read tells you to start with one light until you really start getting a feel for how to shape, angle and manipulate it with purpose. Most of us end up getting lost in multiple light set-ups struggling to find proper lighting solutions. I was not any different.

Soon after I got started, I found myself using 4-5 lights in every setup and then getting frustrated with the nuclear explosion of light that was going off with each shutter click. It makes me laugh now, because at the time I was solely focused on getting light on the subject, background and in most cases everything else in the room that was touched by the mushroom cloud of illumination. I did not understand the importance of shadow, shape, depth and form.

Maturing with studio lighting takes time and patience, and always remember that each light should have a specific purpose. Understanding how to build the lighting with intent in mind takes plenty of practice and a fair number of mistakes and experimentation. Just remember to keep an open mind and never stop learning from both your successful and failed attempts. So, let’s get down to business and walk through a more challenging lighting set-up being mindful of the reasons and rational for each lights use. Continue…

Studio Lighting: On Fire

Reshared post from +Erica Walker

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Studio Lighting: Building a Light Set-up
Studio flash photography often appears to be complicated and confusing for the new photographer. The tangled, twisted mess of light size, power, angle, position, direction, etc… can be daunting to say…

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Studio Lighting: White-out

Reshared post from +Erica Walker

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The Killer Clamshell – A Two Light Setup Guide
Introduction. If your just getting started in off camera flash and studio photography then single light setups are a fantastic, uncomplicated way of getting to grips with lighting techniques. Despite …

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