Up and Running with Lighting: Studio Lights and Flash
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Working with soft light


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Up and Running with Lighting: Studio Lights and Flash

with Erin Manning

Video: Working with soft light

If you'd like to make people look more beautiful in your images, soft light is usually a good choice. Think about how fog and clouds act as diffusion over the harsh sun. On an overcast day the entire sky becomes a single, very broad light source. When working with studio light. Diffusers give the same effect as daylight cloud cover, spreading light from a tiny source onto a larger area. Okay, Kristina. Are you ready to become even more beautiful than you already are? >> I am ready. Thank you. (LAUGH) >> Okay.

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Lighting: Studio Lights and Flash
51m 57s Beginner Nov 01, 2013

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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.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Erin Manning

Working with soft light

If you'd like to make people look more beautiful in your images, soft light is usually a good choice. Think about how fog and clouds act as diffusion over the harsh sun. On an overcast day the entire sky becomes a single, very broad light source. When working with studio light. Diffusers give the same effect as daylight cloud cover, spreading light from a tiny source onto a larger area. Okay, Kristina. Are you ready to become even more beautiful than you already are? >> I am ready. Thank you. (LAUGH) >> Okay.

So I have this hard light source shining on, on Kristina. I took the diffusion panel off of here so you can see the bare bulbs. And you can see the harsh shadows on her face. So let me get a. A shot of that to start with, and we'll use that as our reference shot. Kind of a before and after. Very nice, okay. So now we have that setup. Let me show you one way to modify or soften this hard light. And that would be. By using a diffuser. Now I have a diffusion panel that goes over this but this gives you an even better kind of example here.

Look at how the light is now softer on Christina's face. So, bare bulb harsh light, diffuser soft light. And this diffuser is just nice, soft, translucent white fabric. So it creates a nice soft light on her face. Here's another way to soften the light. And that's by bouncing the light. So, I have a white board here that's clamped to a stand. And I'm going to move it over here. And then I'm going to take this hard light that's shining on Kristina.

And I'm going to shine it away from her. Like so. And then I'm going to put the whiteboard very close to this hard light, and it's reflecting. Look at the beautiful, soft white light on Christina now. Isn't that pretty? I'm going to take another shot now. This looks great. You look fabulous. Whoo, this light's so nice. (SOUND) Beautiful. So you can use a whiteboard, or you could also look for white ceiling or white walls, these are great sources to bounce hard light off of, and create nice, soft, broad, even light sources on your subject.

Thanks Christina, looking good. So now you can see there are a couple of ways to soften a hard light source. You can use diffusion to soften the direct light, and you can use reflection to bounce a softer light back on your subject. In the next movie, we'll talk more about controlling color through white balance.

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