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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 15 Jul 2011 (Friday) 12:36
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How did you learn studio lighting?

 
toxic
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Jul 16, 2011 15:01 |  #16

- Master Lighting Guide
- Light: Science & Magic
- Question about Using Barn Doors on strobes (part 1)




  
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charro ­ callado
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Jul 16, 2011 15:06 |  #17

Reading through the potn archives. Specifically, I have found that if I have any question about lighting, someone has asked it and Rob (TMR) has answered it.




  
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Jul 16, 2011 15:59 |  #18

Spend the money on "The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting" videos. They're not cheap, but neither is lighting gear.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jul 16, 2011 20:48 |  #19

Sekonic's web site has some nice videos too.


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dmward
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Jul 16, 2011 23:45 |  #20

The best way to learn lighting is to light subjects and photograph them.
When I was a young photographer using hot lights and sheet film we would spend hours getting the lighting just right and then maybe 15 minutes making the exposures.

It seems now everyone wants to spend 15 minutes lighting a subject and then hours in post production.

Dean Collins tapes are great resource and there are a lot of others. Especially those, like Dean's that describe how they lit a shot not a dissertation on which modifier is best.


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Jul 17, 2011 07:00 |  #21
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I never did learn..




  
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yogestee
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Jul 17, 2011 20:34 as a reply to  @ dutchmen345's post |  #22

I learnt studio lighting by experimentation,, all those years ago.

Now,, here's a hint. When people first get their lghting kit, they want to go and use every light, every accessory all at once, like a kid in a candy store. Silly move..

First, start using one light source. Move it around to see what effects can be achieved. Try a couple of different modifiers and seen what you like. Once you have mastered that, introduce another light. Move that one around, play around with its ouput in comparision with the first light. Add a couple of modifiers etc. Once you have the mastered this, add a third, a fourth etc.

I have often seen images ruined by "over lighting".. Too many light sources competing with each other.


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kokakaste2
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Jul 18, 2011 03:59 |  #23

- This forum
- Learn by trying new things
- YouTube

These are three things that helped me learn quite quickly. Also light meter is useful, helps understand what you are doing.


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Stacey8221
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Jul 18, 2011 13:37 as a reply to  @ kokakaste2's post |  #24

Thank you so much everyone! I feel like I'm off to a good start now after seeing all the suggestions and links! I will also be ordering my Sekonic L358 later today! :D


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ukcyberboy
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Jul 18, 2011 13:53 |  #25

aaron.dunlap wrote in post #12764240 (external link)
Barring having a meter, a good starting point on your camera is 1/160, f/8, ISO 100. If the power level adjustment on your lights is linear, then you can dial in stops of difference in light, incrementally or full. So set your key light to illuminate your subject properly, and then adjust your fill hair, rim, etc relative to the key setting.

Aaron how do you know if you have the sublect correctly lit..?
Without the meter that is.


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mikekelley
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Jul 18, 2011 14:11 |  #26

charro callado wrote in post #12769506 (external link)
Reading through the potn archives. Specifically, I have found that if I have any question about lighting, someone has asked it and Rob (TMR) has answered it.

+1

rob's a smart dude


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aaron.dunlap
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Jul 19, 2011 14:51 |  #27

ukcyberboy wrote in post #12779909 (external link)
Aaron how do you know if you have the sublect correctly lit..?
Without the meter that is.

Technically, you don't. However by altering the settings on your camera so that the JPEG you chimp on the screen has a histogram that is as close as possible to the RAW histogram, you can infer that the subject is either lit correctly, or lit within acceptable variance for post processing.

Even with a meter, you need to make certain adjustments. Exposing to the right, etc. Meters are a great tool carried over from film days, and most *definitely* have uses in digital photography, but aren't always necessary.


 Aaron

  
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ukcyberboy
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Jul 19, 2011 15:38 |  #28

I agree but I find thata meter reading takes you straight there if you read the key light, I suppose if you do it regular you know how it will be.
I just don't want to waste the time.
Good to know what you said.


Body | Canon 6D |
Lens | Yongnuo 50mm 1.8 |
Lens | Canon 28-70 2.8 L |
Lens | Canon 70-200is F4 L |
Lighting | Yongnuo YN600RX |
Accessories | Various Bits |​

  
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bdillon
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Jul 19, 2011 16:40 |  #29

Stacey8221 wrote in post #12763544 (external link)
All of my lighting arrived on Wednesday and after setting it all up and doing a few test shots (I've NEVER used lighting whatsoever) I realized tthat it's MUCH more complicated than I expected! Reading the manuals just isn't doing anything for me and I don't know where to start! Sure, I can get a decent looking shot after changing my settings a hundred times but thats obviously not what I want to do everytime. I didn't expect to not be able to use my in camera meter and that is really strange for me! Seems like a light meter is a must??? Anyways I could ask a million questions but I'm just curious how all of you learned lighting. Did any of you just self teach by messing around with different settings? Classes? Books?

There's two things I have done to cut back on the amount of time it takes me to adjust exposure.

1. Buy a flash meter. It will help you nail exposure faster.
2. Mark the power setting on your lights or keep a chart of what they are. For studio work I typically shoot at f/8. For typical company directory or social media shots, I set up a background with background light, a key light, hair light and use a reflector for fill. If I set them at the same distance every time then I know I can count on the mark on my power slider to get me within one test shot of perfect exposure. If the center of my posing stool is always 5 ft from my background, my key light 6ft out from center of stool at a 45 degree angle and my reflector 2 ft away from the center of the stool, then all I have to do is make sure the power of each light is set to my mark and pop maybe two shots for each light to check with my meter.

I set my camera to max sync shutter speed (1/160), aperture to f/8, ISO to 100. I turn on my hair light, sit on my stool facing my light, put my light meter to my forehead and pop the flash. It needs to meter f/8. Then I turn on the background light, put my meter at shoulder height on the background and pop that light. It needs to read f/8 at shoulder height. Then I sit back in the stool, turn on the key light and put the meter at my face while aiming it at the camera lens and pop that flash. It needs to read f/8. I get f/8 within two pops of each light. Once to meter, the second to confirm.

This is a basic, three light studio setup that will yield you nice looking portraits to use for things like company sites or directories, ads, etc, but they're far from creative........ but they will help you understand how light works. Once you nail exposure you can work on posing people and see how positioning them differently affects how the light falls across them, how it makes them look, and how that looks on print. The difference between a good or bad shot may be as simple as how you had them positioned and wether they were facing into the light, or the light was falling across them. You can then mess with different reflectors and distances to increase or decrease fill and see how that works.

I can only speak for myself, but the meter was instrumental in my learning. Once you quit spending so much time and stress fiddling with the lights you can really focus on posing and see how the light falls on a person. You can't just stick a person in front of a perfectly exposed strobe and get good results.




  
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John ­ Schell
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Jul 19, 2011 16:46 |  #30

Reverse engineering photos that I like, a light meter, and trial and error.


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How did you learn studio lighting?
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