Beginners Guide to SFX
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Unleash the Power of Modeling Lights!

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Nov 14

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Using Modeling Lights

Most modern strobe lights will come with modeling lights. These are basically just lightbulbs made to mimic the light of a strobe. Although we focus on using the modeling lights that are a part of strobes in this video, you can use traditional lights as well.

The advantage to using modeling lights as opposed to strobes is that you see exactly what you are going to get, there is not guess work. Using gels on your lights can be a ver effective way to add interest to an image.

For this shoot, I wanted to shoot at f/1.4 and I didn’t mind using a slower shutter speed like 1/20 sec. This combination will result in a very shallow depth of field as well as motion blur. Keep that in mind as you shoot, and make sure that is acceptable, in this case that is what we desired.

Lighting Diagram

Using modeling lights means that you can make big changes to your lighting setup quickly and see exactly what you are going to get. This is the lighting setup we used for these shots. In some images different lights were turned on and off to create changes in the lighting.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteglogiewicz/ Pete Glogiewicz

    I’d never really thought about using modelling/constant lighting, and had been wondering how to open up my aperture without using NDs, great vid and it’s set me off thinking about playing with some constant light sources :-) thanks guys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003063172652 Isaiah Vaba

    Great episode. Brink lil Frankie back.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/61844125@N05/ François Vendiol

    When i first used strobes i immediatly used them with daylight, small aperture and strobe compensation.
    I almost always marry ambient and artificial light.
    The following image has been shot using the continuous light from the two lamps behind me as rimlights and a strobe over my head.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/61844125@N05/ François Vendiol

    Forgot to mention that of course, i used a relatively “wide” aperture of f/4.

  • Kevin Lein

    This is great! what kind of strobe did you use? how many watts?

  • http://500px.com/FranzV François Vendiol

    I used a 580 ex II in a 14″ beauty dish, can’t remember the power but it was quite low :)

  • Kevin Lein

    great image! thanks for the answer

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