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Shop Light Photography

Hi Guys,


I just did this entire session with about $20 worth of lighting. Here’s the deal – I’ve  been getting a lot of e-mail’s from newer photographers saying things like.. if I only had all the equipment you had etc… I could produce the same results. This got me thinking (which is very scary) that I should do an entire session with very basic lighting or possibly even my pocket camera to prove that it’s not just the equipment, but the the understanding of how to use the equipment and how to “see light”. Maybe I will do my next session with my iphone, or my Canon G20.


Here’s one of the images from the shoot. Let me know what you think and give me some feedback as to what you would like me to blog about next.


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Lighting Black On Black

This is a shot I took a couple months ago for a training video we were shooting for PSU.  I thought shooting the black dress on the black background would have a lot of impact. The key when shooting a black object on a black background is to create separation from the background. The best way to create separation from the background is creating highlights on the black dress. This was accomplished by placing two edge lights behind the model at a 45 degree angle. See lighting diagram below.


The Set Up:
Main light – 4′ x 6′ softbox
Fill – 4′ x 6′ silver reflector
Edge lights – 1′ x 4′ soft box


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Butterfly Lighting Pattern

Hope everyone is having a good day. I just finished editing this image for a new training video I am working on about Studio Lighting. This shot was taken during a set-up where I was demonstrating a butterfly lighting pattern.


Butterfly lighting is frequently used in creating fashion and glamour head shots. This style of lighting is very glamourous and has the effect of eliminating any shadows or wrinkles or lines in the face.


The light source comes from directly above the camera and is in front of the subject. Butterfly lighting is so named due to the butterfly shaped shadow under the nose.


Steps for achieving the perfect Butterfly Lighting pattern.

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Window Light Photography

This shot was taken during a seminar at my studio a last month ago with Rick Ferro. It was raining outside and we had promise as part of the class to do some available light shooting. So we placed the subject next to the window in the lobby.


Window light is one of the most beautiful (and cheapest) types of light a photographer can use.


Where do you think soft boxes came from? Photographers trying emulate this beautiful quality of light in the studio. The easiest way to understand window light is to think of the windows as a very fixed soft box. Therefore, the size of the window will affect the quality of light just like the size of the soft box in the studio will affect the quality of light on the subject. The larger the window, the softer the light.


The biggest difference between window light and a soft box is in the studio you can move the soft box in relation to the subject to achieve the quality of light and the lighting pattern you want. When working with window light you will have to move the subject in relation to the window. For the image below, we positioned the subject to achieve a short lighting pattern on her face and used a silver reflector as the fill (see set shot).

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