Lighting tutorial?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by mark, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    Wanting to dabble in lighting a lot more than I have I realized quickly that I had no idea what I was doing. I am looking for good video explanations of lighting. The only option to watch someone work around here is a cookie cutter senior/family portrait person. I am looking for something a bit more varied. I have done a little looking on Youtube but there is a lot there, and I, not knowing what I am looking at, can't filter the bad from the good.

    You tube has been a godsend in my learning to use a metal lathe and wood turning once I was pointed to the folks to watch and was wondering if there is a youtube or other video source about lighting that I could watch.

    With things like lighting that are visual in nature books don't really do it for me. I need to see someone manipulate the lights not say figure A represents lighting for picture in figure B.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Well, to swear in church, this is where the advantage of digital comes in to play, because you can test and test and test until you get it right, instantly.
    I learned to use my studio gear myself trough a couple of basic books, time, willing friends and trial and error.

    After a few years now. I know what to expect, but I still don't shoot studio photos with film unless I double-check everything with my 1ds MK II first, if the light or exposure is wrong, it's poop in - poop out and a waste of film, time and money.

    I've never really seen any great learning videos on studio lighting to be honest. There are many, but this is like cooking; You know what you want, you need to learn how to get there, sort of.

    The only really great and inspiring video I'v seen on studio-stuff is Thorsten Ott's tutorials on light and equipment.
    He provides schematics and explanations along the way and the final result is really something that makes you want to start shooting straight away.
    http://www.zeroplusplus.com/creative-lighting-people-tutorial/
    I do think though, that if you've never really used studio lights before, even Thorstens video's can be a little more on the advanced side.

    Still highly reccomended! (here's a preview):

    http://vimeo.com/13505374

    I also have the DVD's from Dean Collins, but they are very technical and to be honest, I didn't get much benefit from them at the time I was viewing them, may be different now though.

    Also, buy a good book, for example this one (I own it myself):
    http://amzn.com/1584281251

    Study it and then check out Thorsten's video.
    Still, you need to practise, a lot, to get a good feel for how things work together and what kind of effect various modifiers make.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2012
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    I've played with lighting, just never really liked what I got. I agree with the wonders of digital when it comes to playing. a 4 gig card means a lot of cheap play. I'll burn film when I like what I am getting. I was just looking a little more visual instruction. Thanks for the links.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    What exactly are you trying to light?
     
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Get some cheap lighting and a digital camera. Some brooding/work lamps with different wattage bulbs from the hardware store and play around. Reflectors made with tinfoil and foamcore. White gauze to diffuse light. It's not versatile like the purpose made stuff, but it's an efficient way to learn. There is essentially nothing new in artificial lighting. A DSLR is an easy to way test setups. If you want to start with strobes, get some monolights with modeling lamps. If you don't have modeling lamps, you won't be able to see what you're adjusting as you move the subject and lights around.

    For me, it's three things... 1. testing and trying things. 2. looking at highlights and shadows in photos to see where the lighting sources were and their relative strength. 3. understanding the inverse square law to understand the relationship between light-subject distance and brightness.

    There's also a website and phenomena called strobist. It's partly a gear whoring site for tinkerers, and partly an inspiration site for when photographers aren't feeling creative, sort of like you might head to allrecipes when you're hungry, but don't know what you want to cook. It won't turn you into an awesome photographer any more than allrecipies will make you a chef, but it shows some interesting possibilities.

    I'm told Charles Abel's book, "professional portrait lightings" has some of the documentation you are looking for, but it's too expensive for me to purchase. If you could borrow it from some library loan system, it might be worth checking out.
     
  7. mark

    mark Member

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    People and things
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Try Strobist.
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    The Buff site is pretty informative. I shall now look up Strobist.
     
  10. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    This obviously isn't a substitute for an informative site, but the basic principles are:
    1. Set shutter speed at or below camera sync speed. How much below depends on how much ambient light you want to let in.
    2. Use light modifiers to shape the light from your flash the way you want it.
    3. Aperture determines flash exposure at a given ISO. Meter and use f-stop ratios, or just adjust the power settings on your flash(es) to taste to get the flash exposure correct.
     
  11. mark

    mark Member

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    Thanks folks for directing me to the Strobist site. A real wealth of information and not too complicated. If there are videos I do not see them but that would be the only thing lacking from the site.