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Join photographer and The Whole Picture host Erin Manning as she demonstrates the essential techniques beginning photographers need to know to start working with studio lighting. Erin introduces the two types of artificial light (speedlights and studio strobes), shows how to assemble a continuous lighting setup, and then explains key concepts such as lighting ratios. She also offers tips for getting better results from an on-camera flash, and taking your photos to the next level with an external speedlight.
Creating the look you want, when you're working with studio lights may seem like a mystery, if you don't know the basics. In this video, I'll briefly explain the difference between constant light and flash, and show you a few different options, for working with both. Here's the difference. A constant light is constantly on, and a flash emits a burst of light, for a fraction of a second. Sounds simple, right? So, which lights are constant and which lights are flash, and why does it matter, and why would you use one kind of light over another? Well, there's so many choices when it comes to studio lighting.
So, it's a good idea to understand, what type of light you want to work with, and whether it fits into your budget. Some of the fundamental differences, are ease of use, price, power and the ability to freeze motion. Constant lights come in the form of photofloods, hot lights, fluorescent, quartz halogen and LED. Flash could be studio strobes or a speedlight. If the sounds are bit overwhelming, don't worry, it's important to understand the big picture, but we are going to simplify, once the lighting example begin, by using one constant light source, day light balance fluorescent.
I will also briefly introduce you to a small external flash gun called the speed light, near the end of the course. Constant light is the easiest way to learn about lighting, because you have the benefit of seeing exactly what the light will look like, and where the shadows will fall, before you begin shooting. What you see is what you get. In the photography world today, the most popular constant light categories are tungsten, fluorescent, and LED. Tungsten lights are also known as Photofloods or Hot lights because they can actually become very hot.
They're great if you're shooting indoors and on a budget, but these old school lights can heat up a room and could potentially pop some circuit breakers. The color temperature of tungsten bulbs, produces a warm color cast in your images, so you'll need to adjust your camera's white balance, to offset that warm tone. Now, I covered working with color balance in my natural lighting course, but I'll also be showing you ways to control color cast, in your artificially lit images, later in this course. Since tungsten lights can become very hot, it may be uncomfortable for your subjects, especially if you're shooting in a tight space.
Tungsten lights also don't last as long as fluorescent or LED lights. Fluorescent lights are easier to work with, than tungsten because they're significantly cooler, more energy efficient, and provide a softer light quality. The new daylight balanced fluorescent bulbs, emit a bright white light, similar to daylight, as opposed to the old fluorescent bulbs you remember from the office, that may have produced a greenish color cast. And it's important to use professional photographic fluorescent bulbs, because they produce constant true colors and skin tones, in your images.
LED lights are the most expensive and most energy efficient of the bunch. Depending on the lights, they may come with a color temperature knob or color filter, to balance them for the light you're shooting in. LEDs also have a very low power draw. They're durable, stay cool, travel well, and weigh less than the other constant lights. They also last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 hours, as opposed to fluorescent lights, that last about 8000 hours, and tungsten lights that last only 1000 hours.
Now on to the flash. As I mentioned earlier, flash could be a speedlight or studio strobes. Studio strobes are available in different variations, such as mono lights or power packs. These lights are very powerful, allowing you to capture a lot of pictures, very quickly, in large spaces, with the ultimate in control. Now studio strobes are mainly used in a professional photography setting, and they're beyond the scope of this course. Instead, I'm going to focus on getting started, with an external speed light flash for your camera.
These little flash units are quite affordable, very portable, and relatively easy to start using. There's also a lot of room to grow, once your learning curve begins. So you can expect to get a lot of use, out of a speed light flash. Keep in mind, this is an introductory course on using studio lighting and I'll be demonstrating some basic tools and techniques. If you’d like to get into more depth with studio lighting and specifically using flash, check out other courses on Lynda.com, like the Lighting with Flash series and if you really want to get into using manual flash, watch Brent Winebrenner’s Flash Exposure Fundamentals.
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