Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Assignments

Studio Lightning

Part 1

1. Name 3 light sources and their functions

According to the article  we had to read, professional studio photography can be divided into two types of light sources. A kit with flash heads and power packs, and a mono light kit. To these two I will add another important light source that produces natural light, the sun!

I will start by explaining the function of the kit with flash heads and power packs. As you probably already guessed this consists of separate powerpacks as a generator that provides energy to the flash heads. You can find two types of power packs, symmetric and asymmetric.  The symmetric ones split power equally between several flash heads. The asymetric ones lets you control how much power to send to each flash head. This kit is more useful outdoors where you would need a lot of power to overrun the sun.

A mono light is a compact substitute for the light source above, their size limits their power but they are more easily portable than the kit above.  They are also perfect for indoor photography.

The sun or outside ambient light can also be used as a light source in studio photography, it can be used as the main/key light or as a secondary one if it is coming from a small window and lighting just a part of the subject. It can also be hard or soft depending on the weather and time of the day. As you can see it can provide us with a lot of options with one draw back, it is difficult to control!

2. Name 2 light modifiers and explain the difference between them

Light modifiers are extra accessories that allow you to control and modify the light from the light source we can use and find a lot of objects to do this but I will name two here.

Let’s start with umbrellas, umbrellas or reflecting umbrellas provide us with a lot of options to modifying light. They are used mainly to produce a diffuse and soft light due to the large reflecting surface. They are mounted in a way that the light is pointing towards the umbrella and away from the subject. so the umbrella mirrors the light back to the subject. You can find several types of umbrellas, silver light, golden light and white umbrellas. The silver ones are the ones that reflect the light more narrowly, white umbrellas have a wider spread and golden ones provide us with a warm tone.

Another well-known light modifier is the soft box. These are usually square or rectangular and are light weight boxes which come with a reflective inside and a translucent front. These are attached to the front of the strobe over the light source. The light that is emitted from the strobe head gets reflected inside the wall and then diffused through the translucent front creating a soft but more focused light source.

The main difference between an umbrella and a soft box is that the soft box provides us with a more contained spread of light while the umbrella can easily spill light everywhere, so it isn’t as controlled as a soft box.

2. Draw a diagram and describe the 3 point lighting set up


Part 2

Draw three studio setups for the following subject matters and list all the equipment that you would use to light your subjects:

  • Portrait
  • Fashion
  • Beauty


In a magazine or on the internet, find one fashion shot, a beauty shot and a portrait shot and explain how you think the lighting was set up on each shot :

1.Fashion shot


This is the fashion shot I found. Judging by the shadows in this picture  the main light was positioned to the right of the subject from her perspective. I would guess that they are using a pretty big and soft light  positioned near the subject, that causes a diffused shadow on the wall. It seems also like their are using a second light pointing ar her to fill in the shadows, this one seems to be further away because of the harsher shadows it creates.

2. Beauty shot

In the following shot I would guess that they are using a two light setup. One to That is lighting up the subject from the front. and one that is lighting up the background. I also think theat there might be two lights from each side of the subject that are mainly lighting up the background but spill a little of light on to the subject. They are using colored lights one is blue and the other two are orange.  The light pointing at the subject is soft, so I would say it comes from a big soft box.

2. Portrait Shot 

My guess here is that this is a 3 light setup. The model is looking at the main light source wich seems to be a big soft box. There is a harsh light lighting up the background and a fill colored light lighting up the back of the model.


I will post part three later this week, in another post… bye, bye for now!


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