Lighting For Studio Photography

Photography Lighting (Part 1)— Studio Portraits

The Theory of Light

The histogram can be viewed on the rear camera display or from an image editing program.

Studio Setup

A basic backdrop is a roll of white paper.

Basic Lighting Configuration

Simple lighting diagram showing the three point system.

The Guide Number

The light output of an electronic flash is equal to the distance of the flash unit from the subject multiplied by the f/stop.

GN = D * fD = Distance From The Subject
f = f/stop
For Distance, given the value of the GN and the f/stopD = GN / fFor f/stop given the value of the GN and Distancef = GN / D

Lighting Techniques

ISO 100 50mm f/9.0 1/125 sec
A pair of softboxes covering light strobes on stands. These can be placed around the subject to provide a softer and more flattering even lighting .
ISO 100 50mm f/9.0 1/125 sec
A typical beauty dish. There is a plate that covers the light head which reflects the light to a larger metallic dish (usually aluminum) to light the subject.
ISO 250 28mm f/11 1/60 sec
A bounce or reflective umbrella with diffuser. The light head back is facing the subject since it bounces the light to the back of the umbrella. The back of the umbrella bounces what is originally hard light. The hard light is then softened by the diffuser before it hits the subject.
ISO 400 35mm f/8.0 1/125 sec
A typical bare bulb strobe light with no modifier attached. (Source Hylow)
Speedlight mounted on camera hot shoe. (Source Nikon)
D = GN / fGN = 42
f = 13
D = 42 / 13 = 3.23 meters or 10 feet
ISO 400 35mm f/13 1/250 sec
f = GN / DGN = 12
D = 6
f = 12 / 6 = 2.0
ISO 100 35mm f/2.0 1/250 sec




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Vincent Tabora

Editor HD-PRO, DevOps Trusterras (Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Software Development, Engineering, Photography, Technology)