Recent Lighting Articles

Two Straightforward One-light Portrait Setups

When it comes to creating compelling, professional-level portraits, it can be easy to think that you need a complex, multi-light setup in order to get worthwhile results. And while two or three lights can certainly give you more versatility, you can absolutely create compelling results with just one light. This excellent video tutorial will show you two effective and straightforward one-light setups for portraits.

5 Great Available Lighting Portrait Scenarios

While every portrait photographer should learn how to work with artificial light, available light is still a fantastic tool for a lot of applications and can be the better choice in a range of situations. Available light can be more versatile than you might suspect, and this excellent video tutorial five different scenarios that make for fantastic portraits.

Lighting Ideas to Improve Your Creative Space

Lighting is everything to photographers, but how much thought have you put into the place where you work? Whether you shoot in that space, record videos and vlogs, or just are in there a lot, you can use your professional lighting to improve the space.

Create an Effective Rim Light With One Light

When starting out with off-camera flash, especially in portraiture, we don't always have access to a lot of high-tech or expensive strobes and modifiers. Here's a simple setup that will help you create stunning low-key rim lit images with very little equipment required.

3 Subtle and Natural Off-Camera Flash Portrait Techniques

Photographers who are new to working with artificial light often think that strobes always look distinctly different from natural light. And while it is true that you can shoot creative, highly stylized images that would not be possible with just sunlight, you can use strobes to emulate natural light to make subtle, natural looks. This excellent video tutorial will show you three off-camera flash lighting techniques that will allow you to create effective and compelling portraits.

3 Creative and Effective One-light Portrait Photography Setups

When it comes to portrait photography, you might think that you need complex multi-light setups in order to create professional images, and while these certainly have their place, you might be surprised by how much you can accomplish with just a single light. This excellent video tutorial will show you three creative and effective one-light setups for portrait photography.

Why Mistakes Are Such an Important Part of the Photography Process

When you are new to photography, it can feel like professionals know exactly what they want and how to achieve it, but that is how social media can be quite misleading. The truth is that professionals make mistakes all the time; in fact, they embrace them. This excellent video tutorial will take you behind the scenes of a photographer's portrait lighting process and show you how mistakes can lead you to a great final image.

Proof That Almost Anywhere Can Be a Photo Studio

Of course, it would all be great if every portrait photographer could afford their own studio, but that simply is not feasible for most of us. That being said, you would be surprised how little space you need to make creative, compelling, and professional portraits. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to light and shoot portraits in a small hallway.

How to Add Contrast When Shooting Portraits on a White Background

The clean, white background portrait style is a classic look that will always be in demand for a wide range of clients and applications. However, it takes a bit of lighting savvy to create a pure white background while retaining crisp contrast and defining shadows on your subject. If you are wondering how to achieve that, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know.

Should You Use Strobes or Continuous Lights for Your Portrait Photos?

Strobes have long been the choice of artificial lighting for photographers, but in recent years, there have been major advancements in the power and capabilities of constant lights, and some photographers have begun to use them for their work. This excellent video tutorial discusses the pros and cons of each to help you choose the right option for your work.

Luminar Neo Adds an Extension With a Christmas Twist

Just in time for holiday photos, Skylum has a new extension for Luminar Neo. It's the seventh extension offered this year, and it's called Magic LightAI. The release is scheduled for December 15.

5 Simple and Effective One-Light Setups for On-location Portraits

While many pros working in studios will use complex multi-light setups for portraits, when you are shooting on location, it is often much better to employ a single light that allows you to be a bit more nimble. And with a bit of lighting savvy, you can still create fantastic professional-level portraits. This great video tutorial will show five easy one-light setups sure to help you make compelling images.

How One Photographer Used Continuous Lighting to Photograph Actress Vivica A. Fox

There are several timeless photography debates that are fun to engage in but will probably never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. There’s film versus digital, zoom lenses versus primes, small compact minimalistic camera versus fully featured monster-sized pro camera, and of course, continuous lighting versus strobe lighting. This article will not seek to determine whether strobes or constant lights are better for portraiture, but we will take a deep dive into how one photographer used continuous lighting on a recent celebrity shoot.

4 Tips for Taking Your Images From Amateur to Professional

Have you ever seen images and wondered how they create an editorial look that you just can't seem to recreate? It's clean, it's crisp, it may be edgy or sleek... you can't quite put your finger on it, but whatever "it" is, you want it for your work. Here are a few tips, from composition to post-production, that will upgrade your images and give you a more professional look.

An Unusual but Effective One-Light Portrait Photography Setup

If you are new to working with artificial light, you might look at some of the complex multi-light setups seasoned professionals use and feel a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. However, you can absolutely make creative, compelling, and professional-level portraits with just a single light, and this neat video tutorial will show you one of the more unusual but effective ways of doing so.

3 Reasons Why Continuous Lighting Is a Good Choice for Portraiture

For decades, color slide film was the industry standard for commercial and editorial work, and the speed of the film was typically 64 or 100. It was standard practice for a portrait photographer to use a high-powered strobe to illuminate the subject. Today, a digital camera can produce clean images at high ISO settings and allows the photographer to forgo strobes and instead illuminate the subject using lower-power continuous light units.

How to Create Window Light in Studio

It might seem strange to want to mimic natural window light in studio, but the beauty of having a controlled space is that you can create that light however you want, whenever you want. If you would like to make yourself a more versatile lighting pro, check out this great video tutorial that will show you how to create the look of natural window light in a studio.

How to Place a Hair Light for Better Portrait Photos

While you can absolutely create compelling portrait photos using just a single light, moving into using multi-light setups opens a lot of creative and technical options that simply would not be possible otherwise. One of the most useful of these is the hair light, and this great video tutorial will show you how to place one properly to get the best results.

A Beginner's Guide to Using Lighting Modifiers for Video

Photography and video have some crucial differences between them, but perhaps the most important similarity between them is that good lighting is crucial to getting the best results. If you are new to video and working on building your skills, check out this great video tutorial that will show you a variety of different lighting modifiers and how to use them to create professional-level results.

How to Pick the Right Fill Light for Portrait Photography

While we spend a lot of time talking about the choice of key light and how it is used in a portrait, it is often not the only light source present in a shot. The fill light makes a large difference in the final look of your image and deserves just as much attention as the key. This great video tutorial will show you the ins and outs of different fill lights and how they affect the final look of your portrait photos.

How to Shoot During the Day, But Make it Look Like Night

Have you ever wanted to produce a night shot but during the day? Well, it's possible, and it's not even that difficult if you know how to control light properly. In this video, go behind the scenes on an outdoor shoot during the day that yields images that look as if they're in the middle of the night.

Field Review of the Godox Junior Retro-Inspired Flash

Let me rewind the clock by a decade: it’s the tail end of 2012, and the NYPD was in the process of clearing out Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Over the last year, Occupy Wall Street had been picking up steam, with an encampment filling the better part of the park and protests regularly spilling out into the streets.

Are LED Lights or Panels Better?

There are two kinds of light sources for video: LED lights and panels. Both have advantages and drawbacks. Which is the best choice when you’re on a budget? Should you choose an LED light or an LED panel? I made my choice, but now, I have my doubts.

Flash Photography For Portraits: One Light With 200 Watts

Miguel Quiles is one of my favorite photographers for studio portraits because of his command of light and the effortless ways he interacts with his models to get beautiful and powerful portraits. In this video, he walks through some simple and inexpensive tips on creating great off-camera flash portraits.

How to Take Better Portraits in Bright Sunlight

Bright, harsh sunlight sitting far overhead is the bane of many portrait photographers' existences, but it is not impossible to create compelling portraits with flattering light in such conditions. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to take bright sunlight and harness it for worthwhile images.

A Beginner's Guide to Flash Photography

A lot of photographers feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to work with flash, but once you learn the fundamentals of how light behaves and how to control it, you will find strobes are not that great a mystery and that they can open an entirely new creative world. If you are new to working with artificial light, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will get you up and creating images in no time.

The Many Portrait Looks You Can Create With Just a Single Light

Although you will often see professional portrait photographers working with multi-light setups, you can absolutely create compelling images using just a single light. In fact, there are different looks you can create just by varying the position of your light. This excellent video tutorial will show you how light placement affects your photos and how to use it to create the looks you are after.

An Effective and Compelling Two-Light Portrait Photography Setup

Portrait lighting is about more than creating a technically correct exposure; it is your chance to add your creative touch to your images and create a memorable style. Once you are comfortable with a single light, multiple lights will open an entirely new world of possibilities for your work. This excellent video tutorial will show you an effective two-light setup for creating compelling portraits.

10 Crucial Lighting Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make

While there are a lot of differences between video and photography, one fundamental truth remains: your lighting makes or breaks your creations. And just like photography, there are some common lighting mistakes that new filmmakers tend to make. This excellent video tutorial will show you 10 such mistakes and what you can do to fix them or avoid them in the first place.

We Review the Rotolight PRO NEO 3 and PRO AEOS 2

When the Rotolight package was delivered to my doorstep, I was apprehensively excited. I was apprehensive because light is everything in photography, and LED lights are notorious for disappointing me. But I was not disappointed. To say I had to rip myself away from playing with it in the studio to type up my review would not be an exaggeration. This light is prodigious.

Improvised Cinematic B-Roll With Available Lighting

Cinematic footage is a great way to showcase a product and add a level of professionalism to your video work. However, it can be daunting to know where to start, and the options can get expensive. If you want simple and effective ways to up your video b-Roll game without breaking the bank, look no further than this accessible tutorial.

Is a Beauty Dish or Octabox Better for Portraits?

Beauty dishes and octaboxes are two of the most common lighting modifiers out there, with almost every portrait studio in existence owning at least one of the two, if not both. They are not identical, though, and each renders your subject in a unique way, which is why it is important to understand the differences so you can pick the proper one for your style and clients' needs. This great video tutorial will show you a deep look at the two options, how they differ, and which is appropriate for different situations.

What You Need to Know About the Inverse Square Law of Lighting

One of the most crucial things any photographer working with artificial light needs to learn is the inverse square law, which has deep consequences on how light behaves and the look of your images. If you are new to working with artificial light and want to learn the inverse square law, check out this excellent video tutorial that will show you what you need to know.

Learn How This Marilyn Monroe Inspired Nude Portrait Was Lit and Photographed

Few photographic subjects are iconic than Marilyn Monroe, and even today, decades later, images of her capture viewers' eyes and photographers' imaginations. This awesome video tutorial will take you behind the scenes of a fine art nude portrait inspired by Marilyn Monroe and show you how it was lit, photographed, and edited.

How to Shoot and Edit Portraits in Direct Sunlight

We are often taught that when it comes to portraits, soft light is the most flattering, while hard light, which introduces stark shadows and emphasizes skin texture, is to be avoided. While it is true that softer light is considered more flattering, that does not mean you should never use hard light; in fact, it can be fantastic for the right look and scenario. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to shoot and edit a portrait shot in hard, direct sunlight.

6 Things Every Photographer Should Have in Their Lighting Kit

The more you get into working with artificial lighting, the more you will realize you constantly little gadgets and accessories besides the lights and modifiers themselves. This great video tutorial will show you six things you should have in your bag that will keep your shoots running smoothly and help you tackle any problems that might arise.

How To Set up a Complete Video-friendly Studio Setup for Under $3,000

So many YouTubers are able to project an air of authority with some amazing A-roll setups. While it may seem like you need a dedicated studio space to do so, that's not always the case, as this video shows you how to get a professional look on a budget.

What You Need to Know About Negative Fill

When you are creating a lighting setup for a portrait, you probably approach it from the standpoint of adding lights and modifiers until you get the result you want. However, while adding light is, of course, important, it is also crucial to know where to take it away. This is where the idea of negative fill comes in. However, negative fill can sometimes be misunderstood. This great video tutorial will show you how negative fill really works and how to use it for your portrait work.

A Portable and Effective Minimalist Flash Kit

Learning how to work with artificial light will make you a far more versatile photographer and enable creative opportunities that simply would not be possible otherwise. However, there are a couple of ways to approach building a lighting kit, and if you plan to be on the go quite a bit, you should carefully consider the size, weight, and power requirements of your equipment. This excellent video tutorial will show you a portable, versatile, and effective minimalist flash setup.

Three Powerful Natural Light Portrait Scenarios

There is sometimes the misconception that natural light only offers one look, but it can be a lot more versatile than you might think. If you know how to read the light, you can create a wide variety of looks suitable for many different applications. This excellent video tutorial will show you three different natural light scenarios, how to find them, and how to use them for shooting photos.

Learn How This Wedding Portrait Was Lit, Shot, and Edited

When it comes to working with artificial lighting, there is sometimes the misconception that professional images require multiple sources, all of which are big, heavy, and expensive. That is not always the case, though. In fact, you can create professional-level shots with just a single speedlight, and this excellent video tutorial will take you through the entire process, from setting up the shot through post-processing.

Common Misconceptions About Artificial Lighting

Artificial lighting is its own world, and it can be a bit overwhelming to try to tackle it all when you are new to the pursuit, which leads to some common misconceptions about the different types of flash, what they are used for, and how they work. This excellent video tutorial examines a lot of those misconceptions and offers a lot of helpful information that will make you better prepared to tackle working with artificial light.