For most photographers, the question of how to create high-quality studio lighting is relevant. Since it is often not enough from the window, and stationary lamps do not give the desired result. Studio lighting can be done with your own hands. An important factor in this remains simplicity and low budget.
Home photo studio
Most often, this is a huge amount of expensive equipment in a large room. However, if you wish, you can assemble your portable set of studio light, spending a minimum of money on it.
To do this, you need the following equipment: a camera (with a lens), synchronizers, flashes and holders for them, batteries, racks, umbrellas, softboxes, modifiers, backgrounds and, of course, bags, to carry and store the entire instrument.
What is studio light
The role of lighting in the world of photography is invaluable. With it, you can convey the mood, depth, emotions. The most powerful source in the studio is drawing light. Use it only is not worth it, because it turns out too much contrast, and half the object is in the dark. Correct the situation can be filling light. This will make the shadows smoother, they will not catch the eye.
To get a more perfect picture, you need to add backlight. It will give visibility, the object will visually separate from the background. Position it behind the model.
There are also studio lights such as pulsed and continuous. Let's consider each of them.
Such a source gives much more power than a constant one. Even if they are compared by cost, size, other parameters. Why it happens? Because constant lighting, while the shutter is open, must constantly reflect photons from objects in the lens. A pulsed studio light accumulates enough energy in a short time and instantly releases it in large quantities. That will easily surpass the sun. Since for a photo you need a brief moment.
If you need a large amount of energy to work - this is the best option. A source of pulsed light can illuminate the room like on a sunny, clear day. At the same time, it will weigh only 100 grams and fit freely in the hand. It is more convenient to use pulsed light when shooting outdoors. Of course, fluorescent tube-lamps are not very compact, and it is necessary to protect them from shock. The power source is conventional batteries.
Flash light is emitted by flashes and pilots. A synchronizer connects them to the camera. One drawback is the release of large amounts of heat. The consequence is huge energy consumption.
Light is constant
The main sources are LED and halogen lamps. They do not communicate with the camera, which is very convenient in operation. Despite the fact that the pulsed, at first glance, surpasses the studio light constant, the latter has its own advantages. Using such lighting, the photographer will see what his camera is. There are no restrictions on the use of light modifiers. Since a little heat is released. Without even taking a shot, you can see the result simply by moving the light.
Working with him is a pleasure. No need to use a flash meter, shoot in manual mode. You just need to switch settings to get the desired result, adjust the ISO of the camera and aperture. Constant light is ideal for learning. He will also like models. Sharp flashes will not bother her, you just have to get used to very bright lighting.
DIY studio light
The most common nozzle for lighting devices is a softbox. You can do it yourself. To do this, you will need:
- cardboard box;
- halogen floodlight;
- lining translucent fabric;
- knitting needles;
- office clothespins.
Softbox consists of a frame, which can be made from any (square or rectangular) cardboard box. On the one hand, it is necessary to cut off the cover so that it is open. Then make a reflective layer. To do this, glue the inner surface of the box with white paper or foil. From a translucent light fabric, we make a diffuser screen, sticking it to the open side. There is a two-layer cover in the softbox: external (black) and internal (reflective metallized).
On the opposite side of the screen, you must make a hole for the lighting device, which is used as a halogen spotlight. It is attached with a wire.
If you need a large softbox for work, then its frame can be made of wooden battens and wire knitting needles. It should be noted that the frame on which the screen is mounted should be much larger than for the spotlight. The finished frame is covered with a cover. It can be made whole two-layer. So, it is easier to put on the frame, but it requires a lot of time. Separately we tighten the walls using office clothespins, different in size.
The softblock attaches to the microphone stand or lamp foot. It is very important to include it only during shooting. Since halogen floodlights greatly heat the surface. Home-made studio light is ready.
Power and quality of various types of light
For lovers of light shots with shallow sharpness and an open aperture, continuous lighting is ideal. Although it has a small capacity. For shooting food, still lifes, products and static objects in general, it is better to use pulsed light.
As for quality, opinions on this matter are very subjective. However, constant light is more pleasant and soft.
A photographer in a home studio should have everything you need to shoot. This is a camera, a tripod for it, background, lighting, reflectors, nozzles. But this is not enough. It is also very important to know how to work with studio light, to put it right.
The main attributes:
- portrait plate;
- color filters;
Using a background reflector will help to evenly illuminate the background. Will give sharp shadows, directed hard light. The portrait plate is placed opposite the object that is being removed. It gives a soft directed (concentrated) light, which is complemented by diffused. For this, softbox and umbrella are used. You can install the lamp behind it (in clearance) or use as a reflector due to the white fabric on the inner surface.
Today, the most popular attachment among photographers is the softbox. The light is scattered and beautiful. Masters use octoboxes (large octagonal) and stripbox (long rectangular). It all depends on the size, shape, distance to the object. Oktoboks are used for a group picture, for portrait, in full growth - a strip box.
To change the direction and color temperature of the light , photo-reflectors are needed. They are also indispensable for single source studios. Photographers rarely use a spot (tube), since it is able to illuminate only a small detail.
Using color filters change the color of studio lighting. They are set to the source, sent to the background and so it turns out a photo in a halo. Skin color does not change. Cells are used to simulate sunlight.
Monoblocks, generators serve photographers as sources of constant light. Experienced craftsmen choose generators. Although they are more expensive, they are easier to work with.
Synchronization and methods of its implementation
Today in stores you can buy a set of pulsed light. It includes:
- color filters.
The inconvenience is that you need to synchronize and connect to the camera. Otherwise, the flash simply will not work.
There are three ways to synchronize.
- Transmitter (IR starter).
- Radio synchronizer.
- Sync cable
The IR starter is a small box. Attaches to the camera where the flash is usually. It operates according to this principle: there is a “trap” inside the monoblock that picks up impulses, which makes the flash understand: “It's time to work.” The disadvantage is that the infrared beam should be in the visibility of the device, like a remote control and a TV. Due to inconvenience, this method is rarely used.
More practical in using a radio synchronizer. It takes from any place where the signal has reached. The principle of operation is the same as that of the transmitter, but it is based on radio waves.
An extremely inconvenient way for a photographer is a sync cable. Since the light source and the camera connects the wire, which will constantly get confused under the feet of the master.
Having decided on synchronization, you need to configure the flash. She switches to manual mode. Power is decreasing. We do the same with the camera. The exposure of the frame is determined by a histogram or flash meter.
Often there are disputes between photographers about how to use studio light. Reviews are different. Need to experiment. To create a high-quality picture, often several sources are enough. It will be useful to understand each. Only experience and knowledge will help to choose the right studio light for a particular case.