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Different Light Sources for Portrait Photography Tips

In previous articles we talked about the Camera settings and Lenses for Portrait Photography. Another important factor in Portrait Photography is the Light.

I am going to discuss the light in two different categories: Nature of Light and Intensity of Light. So let’s dig in Light in Portrait Photography.

Light in Portrait Photography

What is a Constant Light

Constant Light, such as Daylight or any source of light which is constantly on and bright. We have different sources for constant light, such as Incandescent light (household light bulbs), LED lights, Fluorescent lights, Etc. Working with this type light source is quite easy as you treat them as  ambient light and your camera can measure the exposure. The colour temperature of each of these light sources are different, but it is for another article!

Constant Light Portrait

Natural Light Portrait Photography Workshop
Andrea Richardson, A beautiful and talented model in Natural Light Portrait Photography Workshop

What is a Flash Light

As sudden brief burst of bright light is called Flash. There are different types of flashes in photography that we cover them all in our Flash and studio Portrait Photography classes. This type of light is usually Daylight balance in colour temperature, but measuring the correct exposure is totally different. Since the duration of each burst of light is so short, camera can not measure the exposure.

Working with flash and strobes need special techniques, which you are going to enjoy using them and create outstanding images in any conditions.

Sample of Flashes in Photography

Flashes and Strobes are the best light source for studio portraiture. Setting exposure is different than constant light thou.
Flashes and Strobes are the best light source for studio portraiture. Setting exposure is different than constant light thou.

Intensity of Light

I divided the intensity of light into two categories; Harsh Light, and Soft Light. We all know that the direct light is always very strong and harsh and modified light is more soft and pleasing.

That is why photographers prefer cloudy and overcast days for Portrait Photography. And in case of flash light, we use light modifiers, such as softboxes or umbrellas to soften the harsh light.

Sample of Light Modifiers

Different light modifiers create different effects.
Different light modifiers create different effects.

Unless a photographer is after creating strong highlights and shadows, in that case they use the direct sun or flash light for portraitures.

Harsh Light in Portraiture

Use direct light to create strong highlight and shadow
Use direct light to create strong highlight and shadow

I will write a complete article in light modifiers in future. Stay tuned for these articles and as always feel free to contact us if you have more questions. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for upcoming tutorials and tips.  

If you are like me and learn better by hands on and practical examples, check our Upcoming Classes in Portrait Photography.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

Portrait Photography Classes

Three great Portrait Photography Workshops

We offer three great Portrait Photography Classes for everyone!

Natural Light Portrait Class

Starts April 13th

A 2 day workshop with classroom and practical sessions.

Need More Info?

Portrait Photography | Flash Edition

Starts May 11th

A 2 day workshop with classroom and practical sessions.

More Info Here

Studio Portrait Class

Starts June 2nd

A full day workshop on how to set up a studio

More Info Here

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