Discussion in 'Lighting' started by naaldvoerder, Jan 16, 2006.
Do you guy's know of any online guides on studio lighting with strobes?
Thanks Jaap Jan
If you dig through the articles here you will find gobs of stuff about studio/portrait lighting...
Try this one.
An excellent page for "classic" portraiture and lighting is here.
Checked out the "Studio Lighting Techniques", not bad but very basic. They show light diagrams, for the basic lighting set ups, Short, Broad, Butterfly etc. but do not illustrate what the camera technician is supposed to look for in the shadow patterns on the face. Why is it called Butterfly, Short and broad. I did not learn it from this site. As I said very basic. I believe you can learn a great deal more quicker by simply looking at good portrait photos and anylizing the light direction and technique. Where do you go to find really good portraits today? Some really fine one have been posted right here on APUG!
Whewee, just looked at:
The Zeltsman Approach to Traditional Classic Portraiture,
posted by B Fowler.
This is a dandy, examples and the whole story here! Learn the basics and a lot more. Then thake that knowledge and put it to work for yourself. Good stuff.
Just my opinion again,
as Charlie sais: looking at good portraits rather than reading and diagrams. There are so many great ones it is easy to track down a few that really do it for you then get a couple of those styrofoam heads and even a dress form and start to emulate your favorites even down to the backgrounds and its light.
Strobe is great for a lot of things photographic but the one drawback is, you need to really work with it to develop instincts. Cause and effect are not immediatelly viewable with the modeling lights. They are an idea and an aid to focusing but not truley indicative of the final result. So working with standins such as the styrofoam will give some practice at knowing instinctivley what the light and it's attachments will do. Be sure by the way to paint the heads skintone colors.
The next step I would suggest is to get a sitter. Put then in 3 differetnt value non descript outfits. Like a very long tee shirt down to there knees. Test with these shirts against apposing value and then again against same value backgrounds. The key is sitter separation from the background without changing background value. You will find here that some situations will need 2 or 3 lights for separation and others 1 or 2.
I would also use polaroid for a lot of this testing and write down on the back what information you find important that got you too the look you tried to acheive. Obviously shoot film also but at the end of each test. When I did this type of testing years ago I even broke the polaroids down to one for each light source then one combined. I posted these polaroids on boards and used it for years as a referance for planning portrait sessions.
Hope this helps your cause.
In addition to the Zeltsman site I like this guy's site:
Try this guy
Mark McCall has a lot of images in his gallery where he drew up a diagram and showed his settings. I've learned a lot just by studying the photos/diagrams he put up.
One of the most difficult things to photograph is a completely reflective sphere - an example would be one of those "mirror globes" that occasionally adorn some gardens, or more commonly, a Christmas tree ornament -- or chrome automobile hubcap. Nearly impossible to avoid the reflection of the photographer and the camera.
That can be put to good use in studying lighting .. the eye has a spherical surface and is a fairly efficient reflector. If one pays particular attention to the reflections in the eyes - "catchlights" - it is often a source of information about the lighting setup. When I get my hair cut (my wife and I have had the same `hair cutter' - hers is called a "Stylist"; mine a "Barber" - same woman - for many, many moons) I always take the opportunity to study the fashion magazines, and those books of Hairstyles, paying particular attention to the eye reflections and the effect of the lighting. Occasionally, I've even been able to see the image of the photographer, when positioned in front of a big - whumping BIG - softbox.
Softboxes are very common in fashion studio lighting - often, something like two "Halfdomes" - one above and one below the camera, or (a) LARGE square softbox/es directly behind, or to either side of, the camera. Also common are umbrellas, usually somewhat higher than the camera, and, again, on either side.
Interesting also, are the photographers tendencies to stay with one particular lighting setup. One can, fairly often, identify the photographer by her/his lighting.
The only drawback to this is the strange looks that one gets from the onlookers - No, I DON'T "swing" that way ... I'm only studying lighting when I read Elle, or Cosmopolitan ... or Hairstyling books. I'm going to make a card, stating that .. and display it when I visit "HairCrafters" with my wife.
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