Studio Light Tutorial

Studio Light Tutorial 

One Light Portrait Shooting

Photo Tip Friday June 20, 2014

During the afternoon segment of my Outdoor Photography workshop on June 14, I realized that studio lighting would make a good topic for my Photo Tip Friday articles. After all, photography is all about using light, and is sometimes referred to as painting with light!

Here it is, June already, the month to gear up and get ready for another busy year! Summer is here for one part of the world and Winter for the other part. Here on the west coast of Canada we’ve had a very, very nice Spring which felt like Summer all along!

On June 14 I taught a workshop in Outdoor Photography Location and a great time was had by all.  We started off working with the ambient light, and how to use the elements in outdoor photography with more creativity. Here are some of photos from the workshop taken by Alicia M. Thank you Alicia for sharing your photos with us!

IMG_1965-Edit Untitled-1 IMG_2022-Edit IMG_2010-Edit IMG_1974-Edit


Shooting under natural light is totally different from using Studio Lights (artificial lights). Over a series of Studio Light Tutorial I am going to discuss some very basic plans and then go on to explain more complex lighting set ups.


One of the most commonly asked questions about studio light is: “What kind of light should I use?” I found this helpful web site where you can compare the effects of different lights shapers. I really encourage you to take a look at this web site and spend some time getting familiar with the nature of light and the light shaping abilities of each tool. Now you can make the right decision about your set up.


We all understand on-camera flash photography, bounce flash, diffusers of different shapes and sizes, etc. Here we are going to cover the off-camera settings. Some cameras have a built in wireless flash. You can also use a radio wave trigger which is very convenient and reliable.

Let’s start with a single light and see what our options are. Compare the differences in intensity of light between direct flash, bounce umbrella and shoot through umbrella with the example photos.

One Light Studio Portrait

In this diagram we have one single directional flash. Although this article is not about posing, you can see by posing your model on an angle toward the light you can create a better effect.


One Studio Light (Direct)
One Studio Light (Direct)

Single Studio Light and Bounce Umbrella

In the diagram below you can use the same single side light, but by using an umbrella you create a softer shadow and a pleasant highlight.

One Studio Light (Bounce Umbrella)
One Studio Light (Bounce Umbrella)


Single Studio Light with Shoot Through Umbrella

Now try the same set up but with a shoot through umbrella. You will notice that your light source gets wider which will result a more natural looking highlight and softer shadow. It almost looks like sunlight coming through a big window.

One Studio Light (Shoot Through Umbrella)
One Studio Light (Shoot Through Umbrella)

That is all for this Friday. Stay tuned for more tips on Fridays!


Need a Studio Light to practice these techniques? 

No problem! You can rent one of our Pro Studio Lights. For more information please contact our Rental Department.

Be creative with light,
Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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