Studio Lighting and Flash photography

Studio Lighting and Flash Photography

During the afternoon segment of our Lifestyle Photography workshop, I realized that Studio Lighting and Flash Photography would make a good topic for our blog posts. After all, photography is all about using light, and is sometimes referred to as painting with light!

Shooting under natural light is totally different from using artificial lights (such as Studio lights or strobes and flashes). Over a series of articles I am going to discuss some very basic plans for Studio Lighting and then go on to explain more complex lighting set ups.

First I want to thank for their helpful App for iPhone that makes it very easy for me to create the diagrams. Good job guys!

One of the most commonly asked questions about Studio Lighting and Flash Photography 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 on the web site. Now you have a better idea of the light that we are going to use.

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.


Single Flash Off-camera
Single Flash Off-camera

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.


Umbrella in Reflective mode
Umbrella in Reflective mode

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.

Umbrella Shoot-through
Umbrella Shoot-through

Do you have some ideas you’d like to share? We love to hear from you!  Send us your diagrams and photos and we will post them with your name in our articles.

If you are interested in Flash Photography, we are going to have scheduled Indoor Flash Photography workshop for July 21st.

[button url=”″ target=”_self” size=”large” style=”limegreen” ]register for indoor flash photography workshop here[/button]

Be creative with light,

Ted and Omnilargess Team

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