An Introduction to Studio LightingWritten by Artriva Studios
The word Photograph is derived from the greek words phos & graphê meaning light drawing. The best way to control light is providing your own.
Why not just use the SUN ?? apart from a short duration in the morning & evenings (on a clear day) the sun is just too bright and results in harsh shadows around objects and areas of a face. The only way to have 100% control over light is to head indoors into a studio where you can plan every ray of light to work the way you want.
A Studio (derived from the latin word studere, meaning to study) is a workroom. A Studio is place where you can minimise the effect of sunlight and also have enough space to move around with your subject & equipment.
What does a studio consist of ?
A studio is a simple room with minimal / no / controllable external (sun) light. Ideally with walls that are a neutral white or black to minimise effect of any reflected light. Importantly a backdrop (ideally of paper), a hard floor and lots of space for a model, equipment and space to move around.
The Equipment ...
The very Basic studio of equipment consists of
- Studio Lights : They are high powered lights/strobes, generally with recycling recycle times faster than camera mounted strobes. they also have a mount which can fit in accessories such as
- Softboxes : These comes in several shapes and sizes, the most common being square, rectangular (strip), octagonal (octa for short), with a single or two pieces of translucent fabric to let out soft diffused light - useful to get a soft texture (ex soft skin)
- Beauty dishes : these are generally round dishes that give out hard light - useful to show texture in images
- Triggers : They are wireless devices that communicate between your camera and the lights to communicate when to fire the lights. Advanced triggers also support TTL, which can even set the power leves of the lights.
- Reflectors : these are used to fill in areas not properly lit without a need for an external light. They may also be used to cut light when required
- Backdrops : they can either be made of high quality cloth or paper. your subject / model is placed in front of a backdrop. They are available in various colours
- A computer / monitor : to review photos. There could also be additional support for Tethered shooting.
A great thing about photography is that you can see the results instantly. So take a test shot and see what’s not lit properly. Then move your available lights around accordingly.To make something brighter, just point a light at it. To reduce light, angle the lamp away. To remove shadows, position a reflecting white card. It’s all pretty easy, and kind of fun.
Some Lighting terms
- Key Light - The key light provides the light for the viewer’s perspective. it is also the main light
- Fill Light / Bounce Light - This is the light to fill in the shadow areas from the main light / key light. The fill light is generally at 1/2 - 1/10 the power of the key light. Instead of a light one can also use a reflector as required light is only a fraction of the main light
- Catch light - Where do your eyes end up on this model? On her eyes, what helps draw you there? The lovely white glint in her eyes. This is called a catch light. A catch light is a white spot in a person’s eyes and is key to make the person look alive
- Backdrop Light - this is generally aimed at the background / backdrop to eliminate shadows on the backdrop or to make it appear more brighter
- Overhead light - these are generally available in very large studios to mimic natural sunlight while shooting large objects such as cars / vehicles etc. The same effect can be reproduced at Artriva Studios with the help of of our custom made 16x12ft roof mounted rails. This system also eliminates cables on the ground and reduces the risk of tripping, etc.
- Accent Light - These are usually small spot lights aimed at part of the subject to draw the eye some were. Accent lights are often used on a model’s hair and/or shoulder.
Just the minimum amount of equipment for most studio requirements could get very expensive, not to mention equipment that you would sparingly. Hence most photographers find it more economical to hire a studio, as the studio owns and maintains most of the equipment and the cost of space etc gets averaged over multiple people, thereby effectively reducing the cost burden per person.
Are you beginning your photography career? Are you looking for a good photography studio for Hire ??
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