Portrait Lighting

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Photographers instinctively seek light. In this video, Joe McNally shares stories from his career and the incredible effort he puts into lighting an image. 0:00 - Introduction 5:39 - McNally's History with Light 9:43 - Light that Looks Natural 13:15 - No Place for Fancy Light 13:58 - Nervous Light 14:27 - The Valley of the Gels 18:58 - Hard Light 22:34 - Soft Light 25:21 - Lots of Light 28:32 - Same Subject, Different Light 30:47 - Fashion Light 40:56 - Light in Difficult Places 42:09 - Quick Light 43:45 - Light Shapes Character 48:17 - Day in
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Join Jabari Holder in the studio as he breaks down a three-point lighting setup in less than five minutes. He explains why a basic lighting technique is perfect for interviews, talking-head shots, YouTube videos, portrait photography, and more. What is your go-to lighting setup? 0:00 - Introduction 0:21 - Initial Tips 0:55 - Key Light 2:12 - Fill Light 2:41 - Hair Light 2:58 - Additional Tips 3:12 - The Possibilities 3:49 - Final Thoughts Shop the SmallRig RD350B/D & RC450B/D at B
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On bright, sunny days, taking flattering portraits can be difficult! Keydrin Franklin shows you how to use a speedlight and other accessories to improve your results. Have you used any of these techniques before? 0:00 - Introduction 0:19 - Variable ND Filter 1:17 - Diffusing with a Scrim 2:52 - Speedlight with Softbox 3:36 - How Choose a Softbox (and Where to Place it) 4:27 - How to Choose the Right Exposure 6:10 - Final Thoughts
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A well-crafted portrait is a beautiful thing, and this week's podcast takes a deep dive into creating individual, group, and family portraits, on location and in the studio. Our guests are master portraitists Monica Sigmon and Michael Taylor, co-owners of Sigmon Taylor Photography, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Please join us for tips on everything from developing a signature style when
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Did you know that using just one or two small strobe lights can lead to amazing portraits? JC Carey, from Westcott, discusses the ways he uses the FJ80 and FJ200 to shape lighting during outdoor photo shoots. Have you used strobes to augment outdoor lighting? How did it go? Tell us about it in the Comments section, below! Sponsored by
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If you've always wanted to get better results from your portrait photography lighting, but are fearful of the process, then JC Carey has a simple solution! In this B&H Event Space video, Carey discusses how lens selection, camera settings, and the lighting gear itself will inform your creative choices during a photo shoot. At the end of this presentation, you will know the three steps for setting up your off-camera flash outdoors! Are you fearful of setting up portrait lighting? Watch this video and fear no more! Sponsored by Westcott
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Sony Artisan of Imagery Tony Gale is back for another portrait-lighting session, this time with the versatile speedlight. Whether indoors or outdoors, in studio or on the go, this portable off-camera flash can be used in multiple ways to add creativity to your portraits. Consider this seminar your speedlight guide, since Gale will covers the basics, as well as various setups. Write about your own experiences lighting portraits with speedlights, in the Comments section. Sponsored by Sony
by Cory Rice ·Posted
Every portrait photographer who started with a kit zoom remembers the first time they swapped it out for a prime lens. The “Wow” factor of a bright, sharp prime is hard to match, even with the best zooms. Optical benefits aside, working from a fixed focal length encourages more natural photographer-sitter interactions and better spatial awareness. Read on to learn why so many portrait photographers love their prime lenses.
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Professional photographer Tony Gale shares his portrait photography tips for lighting a backdrop, from a bright white background to one with bold, saturated colors. What are your takeaways from this tutorial? Let us know in the Comments section, below.
by Cory Rice ·Posted
Once your portrait needs have advanced beyond what natural and available light can provide, it is time to begin exploring studio lighting. The best way to build any lighting kit is one light at a time. This allows you to grow with your setup, developing an understanding of how and when to use your lights along the way. One of the simplest creative setups to experiment with when working with your first light is low-
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
For the longest time, the differences in weight, size, power, and recycling times between speedlights and monolights were glaring, but this is no longer the case. Technologically, speedlights and monolights have become increasingly sophisticated, most notably in their respective TTL and wireless capabilities. At the same time, smaller and lighter monolights
by Cory Rice ·Posted
A persistent challenge photographers face when working in-studio is avoiding monotony. This can be especially difficult when shooting in the same space with the same tools and the same props over and over. One way of keeping your studio work fresh is by customizing the equipment with which you are working. This article covers a handful of do-it-yourself projects that can add a little extra character to your studio without requiring a large budget or extensive building experience. Paint or Stain Your Apple Boxes Are you tired of providing free
by Cory Rice ·Posted
Collecting studio lights can become an addictive vice for the adventurous portrait photographer. Once you realize all that can be done with one light, you will soon want to add another, and another, and another. With each additional light come new techniques and creative possibilities. For portrait photographers, one of the most commonly used multi-light setups is three-point lighting. This tried-and-true approach to
by Bjorn Petersen ·Posted
One of the most effective ways to improve your portraiture is by controlling the light, and one of the most effective ways to control your light is to move it. Seems like a simple enough concept, but it can be daunting at first, especially if you’re using a speedlight or an on-camera flash. Despite its misleading name, an on-camera flash can, very easily, be used off the camera. The “on-camera” part simply refers to its form factor and ability to be
by Cory Rice ·Posted
In the world of portraiture, a light is only as good as the tools used to shape it. The three most common types of modifiers used for portraits are umbrellas, softboxes, and beauty dishes. Each of these