Feb 08, 2012

9 Ways to Light a Photo

Using one light to get many effects

In this episode I’ll show you how one light can change the result of your image through the Distance and height from your subject. We show you where the Light was with each photo and explain why some Angles are better than others.

What’s covered

  • 0:30 Change lighting by moving your softbox
  • 1:26- Using a Light Meter
  • 2:10- Side lit images
  • 2:30- Lit from underneath
  • 2:40- Back lighting
  • 3:00- Lit from above and in front , closeup!
  • 3:20- Explanation of modeling Light and how it can be used to help
  • 4:00- Which Angles work better and why
  • 4:47- Contest info!

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    Sebastian Ortiz

    very good episode, Guys…

    Just to throw my two pennies worth… 

    – for those that don’t have a meter…. use your histogram, on your camera screen…. most of them have somewhat of a graph,s some have a few lines separating sections, you can use these sections as a guide, each section is basically a stop of light, and it can get you close… 

    – when it comes to the distance of the light to subject, the closer you are to the subject, the softer the light, less shadows, the further away from your subject, the harder the light, more shadows… usually it’s a personal preference, of what kind of light you’re looking for.. 

    • user image
      Nick Bedford

      Indeed. The distance to the light source determines it’s angular size, which is the most important measurement of it’s softness (besides quality of light). In other words, a 40cm soft box at 2 metres hits a point on a person’s face at an angular size of 11.5 degrees, whereas the same light at 50cm is 4x larger (43.6 degrees).

  • user image

    is there a cheaper alternative to Sekonic that would be just as effective metering light?

    • user image
      Christian Noval

       More or less all lightmeters does the same. In this digital time, the lightmeter isn’t that critical, since you can check the histogram. So you can use whatever lightmeter you like. Just remember that there is a difference between lightmeters and flashmeters. You need a flashmeter, which basically is a lightmeter that also can measure flashlight (some older lightmeters can’t measure flash). If you want a cheap light/flashmeter buy a used one. They cost very little at ebay.