Studio Lights

I was invited along to join Winchester camera club on an advance studio lighting training workshop – I had attended one of the workshops before by Andrew Appleton – back in 2015 when the focus was speedlites – you can see the results from that here: http://www.renoufdesign.uk/news/2015/12/day-244-studio-light-training-day/ – the focus today was on lighting fundamentals with studio lights and then we went through a few different step ups and we all had the opportunity to shoot.

We started the day going through a range of lighting set ups, and looking at lighting patterns of models faces so we can work out how a photo was constructed.

Digital Camera Lighting Patterns Info Sheet

It was interesting to hear that some patterns were harder to create than others, and to work out what style tended to work better with children, it has made me want to dig out my beauty dish again as I don’t think I use it close enough to the model.

Three light set up

We were talked through a three light set up – we were reminded to check that there was no ambient influencing the shot, then a beauty dish was set up as the main light – we used ISO 100, F11, shutter speed 1/125. We metered in the models forehead first for the exposure – we then added a light to the background – aiming to 2 stops below – so F5.6, and then a fill light to provide seperation from her hair and the background.

Window Light Set Up

This is known as the window light set up – four lights to form a square and they you shoot through the middle… great for high fashion, making the skin look great – it is almost like a giant beauty dish – the top light is used at the key light and the others as a fill. The key light is possibly half a stop more. You set up the key light first and work from there.

Coloured Gels in the studio

I have always to see gels being used in this shot we had a puple gel flooding the scene – this was the fill light for the shadows – and it is set first – to get the best colour the lights need to be very low power. WE then added purple and orange gels lights to add coloured interest, again at a low level, and then finally a beauty dish on the models face to neutralise the colour. In this occassion the main light is set last!

Creating Ghosts

Finally we got creative – we aimed to create shots with a 2 second exposure at F11 and using the studio lights to freeze the momovement. Studio lights freeze movement at a consistent speed, whereas speedlites vary in speed depening on the power.

Today I realised how much easier it is to use studio lights than speedlites – you can see with the help of the modelling lights where the light is going to fall, making the photographers job so much easier.