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Lighting Setup For Portrait Photography

Dan Eitreim

August 22, 2015

Lighting is a very important aspect in photography. Whether you’re shooting indoor or outdoor and regardless of the type of digital camera you’re using, proper lighting makes a huge difference in your images. In short, the light puts the life in your photos.

For those who are planning to set up their home photography studio, experts remind you to not take lighting for granted. In fact, the area alone which you will utilize as your studio should have a large window that can provide a natural light source. In addition, you need to have the proper lighting equipment to help you create beautiful studio shots.

Studio lighting is all about controlling the light. You have to position properly your lighting device and you should know how much lighting to apply to your subjects as well.

A basic studio light should have a stand. If possible, it should also have a modifier or softener such as an umbrella or softbox attached to it. The umbrella acts as a diffuser to soften harsh light that can result in shadows.

For a start, you can use just a key light or the main source of light to illuminate your subject (it can be a steady or strobe light) and a fill light. Or you can have two monolights or flash units and then another background light. The umbrella to use should have a diameter of 20 to 30 inches when opened.

The position of your lighting fixture should be considered according to the look you want to achieve. The location of your subject should also be considered. Ideally, one light stand should be placed five feet away from the subject at a 45-degree angle to the left part of your subject. The stand should be extended up to 6 to 7 feet high.

The main light can be positioned in front of the subject. Use the same angle of 45 degrees and height of the light stand. If you have background lights, they should be positioned on either side of the subject. They are essential in removing shadows as well.

For the flash, there has to be a triggering system. This will enable the flash to synchronize with your camera while you’re shooting. The radio trigger is commonly used by professionals. Another option is the optical slave unit.

The next step is to meter and adjust your key and fill lights. The output level needs to be adjusted to achieve the effect you want in your images. If you have other types of background light such as the hair, rim or separation lights, you will have to meter them as well.

To get rid of shadows, you need to ensure that your backdrop covers the background and the floor. This way, the horizon is eliminated.

The final step to do once you’ve set up your lighting is to take a test shot. Preview the images you’ve taken and check for shadows and other defects in lighting. Adjust accordingly until you see the effect you want to achieve.

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Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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