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The Complete Guide to Lighting: 83 Tips

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Related course: Wow Factor Photography

Photography lighting, or rather lighting for photography is the most important aspect of image capturing. Don’t believe me?

Close your eyes. what do you see? If the answer is nothing, that’s exactly what photography looks like without light.

Read here on how all kinds of lighting will help your photography.

What Do We Mean by Photography Lighting?

The word photography comes from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos or phōs) “light”. Mixed with γραφή (graphé) it adds “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”.

Altogether, it means “drawing with light”. Photography without light is like trying to write without ink, paint without paint and using your iPhone without battery.

You cant. As you can see, it’s not only important…it’s necessary.

There are two ways to capture light using your camera. One is natural light, which is the most widely used because its already there!

The sun gives it to us for free, so it would be silly not to take advantage. The other is artificial light which, added to our scene from flash or continuous lighting.

Ambient light is another term that you need to be aware of, and it can be natural or artificially present.

By reading our fully extensive guide, you will learn how to fully utilize light in all its glory.

Whether natural light or artificial, you will gain useful knowledge of its use for better images.

12 Photography Lighting Facts You Should Know

Knowing as much as you can about lighting will help you with your photography. How the light hits your subject is very important.

Some of these facts will seem very common sense. For example, moving the light further away from your subject will soften it.

For the other 11 lighting facts, you’ll have to read our article here.

Natural Vs. Flash

There are two main light sources that we use in our photography. One is natural, which is always present, given to us by the sun, and also reflected by the moon.

The other is flash or strobe. These are best used while shooting but possibly added during the post-processing stage.

They both have their benefits, and you’ll find that you can use both at the same time. You just need to compensate to gain a correct white balance.

Natural light is free and useful for everything from street to architecture to portraits to wedding photography. It can be difficult to control.

Flash lighting is expensive, especially compared to natural lighting, yet it can be easily controlled. Typically used in fashion and product photography.

Read the article here for all the advantages and disadvantages of both, and how to use them.

Natural or artificial photography lighting will depend on your subject, the time of day and the mood you want to show

Best Lighting Equipment To Get Started With

There are many different lighting systems available. A studio tends to have big, powerful units. It’s also usually plugged into the wall.

Smaller versions, known as Speedlites, are portable and run off AA battery power. This thorough article gives you all the information you need to get started.

An LED light and speedlite for photography lighting

How to Easily Understand Color Temperature

Having light hit your subject is paramount in being able to capture them. But there are many different types of light sources you can use.

Every light source has a color. This color cast is added to any subject or object that the light hits. The closer the subject to the light, the stronger the color cast.

Have you have ever tried to capture an indoor scene, and felt it was too orange? This is the color temperature of the light source.

For the most part, you can fix this is post-production. But you should aim to set a correct white balance in the camera.

This article will give you all the information you’ll need.

Underexposure vs Overexposure: Everything You Need to Know

You will become more and more confident with lighting. Here is another important area you need to know about.

When photographing an outdoor scene, you’ll often encounter a mix of light strength. For example, capturing a building and the sky on a sunny day.

If you use the light meter reading for the building, the sky will over-expose. This means it will lose all of its details.

Similarly, if you use the light meter reading from the sky, the building will be too dark. This under-exposing makes it difficult to see the present details.

Here, the sky is about 2-3 stops lighter than the building. There are ways to correct this problem, all of which you can find in our article.

Slow Sync Flash

There will be many times where you’ll want to capture more ambient light in a scene. Photographing indoors means low light, and slow shutter speed is necessary.

But as you use a slow shutter speed, everything becomes blurry. This is down to camera shake. The shutter is open long enough to capture the slightest movement.

This is where slow sync comes in. A slow shutter speed adds more light, and the flash freezes the subject. This eliminates the shake and blur.

Read our article here on how and when to use it.

A slow sync shutter helps freeze movement in low light conditions

Fast Action in Low Light

Low light is always a challenge for photographers, as we often need to trade quality for exposure. Action photography and low light are like bickering siblings.

They don’t go hand in hand, as the settings for both scenarios clash. Focusing on the light will present the blur, and obtaining the action means an underexposed image.

Here, you will need aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Using these effectively helps capture enough light, keeping the quality of the image high.

Read here on why your lenses are important for low light. And also how to use your camera for higher quality images.

Fast action needs a comparative photography lighting concept

How to Use a Light Meter for Better Photography

There was a time where if you didn’t use a light meter in your photography, you would have to make an educated guess in capturing the correct exposure.

Fashion and portrait photography were the main users of these meters, working with complex lighting systems.

Not having a light meter meant following the sunny 16 rule. Now, all our cameras have an inbuilt light meter, helping you capture the right amount of light.

Read here on why you need a light meter, and which of the two different ways would suit you better.

A light meter helps yous know the exposure of a scene for better photography lighting

How to Choose (and Use!) Hard Light vs Soft Light 

There are times when you are looking for soft light. For example, capturing a bride as she is dressing for the big day.

At other times, hard light is needed. Especially if you are looking for contrast in your scene.

Our article runs through how to create and take advantage of these two lighting styles.

How To Effectively Use Backlight in Photography

Backlighting your subjects gives you more of the background in your shot. Instead of hiding it, you let it shine, boosting your subject in the front.

By adding light in the background, you create an airy and warm scenario. It isn’t as moody as a full-frontal light situation.

This lighting technique also allows you to create silhouettes.

For more information on how to backlight your subjects, read our article here.

The Easy Guide to Shooting High Key Photography

If your scene is giving your camera a lot of light, you might consider high-key photography. The high-key refers to the excessive use of lights and lighting in the image.

This is a technique you would use for product photography. It allows you to remove most if not all detail from the background.

For all high-key photography questions, tips and techniques, read our article here.

Natural Light

How to Take Control of Natural Light with Photography

Most photographers love natural light. It is free, it’s abundant and easy to work with. To harness the full power, you will need to diffuse or even flag the light.

One recommendation is to know how you can use your reflectors effectively. By bending and warping the reflector, you can change how the light hits the subject.

By making it concave, you help to intensify the light and create a spotlight, rather than a soft lighting effect.

Brunette female model being photographed with assistants holding light reflector disks in front of her

What’s The Best Time to Take Natural Light Photos Outside?

Natural light has many advantages. It’s free, abundant as is right with you where ever you go. At midday, the sun is at it’s strongest, no matter where you are.

At other times of the day, natural light changes. The golden hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset. This gives your scene a ‘golden’ warmth to it.

The time of the year also denotes how the light plays with your subject. Our article here has all the tips and information about the best time to take natural light photos.

Flash Lighting

When You Should and Should NOT use a Flash

When to use a flash is one of the most asked questions regarding photography. Some photographers steer clear from it, as they want to remain candid shooters.

A flash can add a significant change to your images, day and night. You can use it as a main light or even a fill to an otherwise well-lit scene.

There are times when a flash is a big no-no. Some events or concert photography makes using a flash impossible.

Read our article on all the information you need. To flash or not, that is the question.

How to Use a Wireless Flash Trigger

A wireless flash trigger lets you control an off-camera flash. Here, the speedlight flash connects to a wireless hot-shoe which connects to a transmitter. This sits on your camera’s hot-shoe.

The signal is sent wirelessly, allowing you to place your flash anywhere. Perfect for scenes where a flash on your camera is detrimental.

It is a very simple device to use, as long as you get the right one. We have all your questions answered here.

What Is a TTL Flash? TTL vs Manual Flash Modes

A TTL (Through the Lens) flash uses your cameras on-board metering system. This allows the flash to intelligently ‘judge’ how much light to pump into the scene.

This can be a hit or miss, as it really depends on your scene and metering mode used. For example, spot metering mode forces the flash to add enough light just for that single point.

When using evaluative, the flash will add enough light to bring up the exposure of all objects. This can lead to over-exposure and loss of details. Perfect for high-key photography though.

If you’re stuck between TTL and manual flash modes, we have the article for you.

Best Tips For Bounce Flash Photography

A bounce flash is a great way to light a subject. especially if you’re looking for a soft-lighting exposure.

Harsh light isn’t the best fit for all types of photography. Perhaps the subject in front of your camera has a light color range. With bounce flash, you retain the details within it.

How do you bounce the light? As your speedlight or flash utilizes a swivel head, it can be turned many ways. This allows you to point the light source to walls, ceilings, and reflectors.

Harness the power of the bounce flash here. If might be the trick you’ve been looking for.

How to Use Fill Flash (Updated 2019)

Undoubtedly, we will deal with situations where the scene will have varying degrees of exposure. The background might be lighter than your subject.

Here, a reflector can bounce a little more light back into the shaded areas. For a stronger light source, consider using a flash.

By adding a little light from a flash, you can bring out the details that fall into shadow. This light is known as a fill flash.

This is a very handy trick to know, especially for situational portraits.

Best Flash for Nikon DSLR Camera

All flashes are equal, but some flashes are more equal than others.

Believe it or not, every flash or speedlight utilizes different settings that can help your photography.

So which one should you use? If you own a Nikon camera, the answers are here.

We take into account five of the best flashes available. Your next mobile light source is one of these!

Food Photography

How To Improve Your Food Photography With Natural Light

Using natural light might be the best way to start and practice with. It is abundant, free and everyone has a window they can use as their source.

It is also available outside for shoots, for example, in a park or on-location. Here, a diffuser sits between the window and the food.

This creates an even light fall and to take away the intensity of the light source. Reflectors can be used to help bounce the light back towards the subject, softening harsh shadows.

By no means is it super easy, but it is by far the cheapest option that works (almost) any time of the day.

Natural photography lighting adds a beautiful tone to your food photography

One Light Set Up for Food Photography

Rather than using natural light, a softbox is a great option. Great for studios with no windows, or times when the sun just isn’t as strong as you want it to be.

The softboxes are pretty inexpensive, easy to put up and pack away. It is a viable choice.

Using one light will leave you one set of shadows. Combining the light source with reflectors help to minimalize these harsh areas. This helps pull out the detail.

These give a constant flow of light. This tool is easily moved for different angles. It also dims the light or intensifies it.

Using one artificial photography lighting system in your food photography can help give it a boost


Tips for Setting Up Your Home Photography Studio

For those getting into studio photography, the lighting will be slightly different. You can of course use scores of speedlights, but they might not offer you the power you need.

Studio setups often have many different types of lights. You are likely to find softboxes, rim lights, barn doors, grids, and strobe machines. They all have their purpose.

Our main tip is to start small. Obtain the equipment that you know you are going to use and add to it slowly.

For all other tips on what to look for, go through our article here at your leisure. It should be your first port of call for studio photography.

Types of Artificial Studio Lights – Fluorescent, Strobe, LED or Tungsten?

There are many different types of artificial studio lights available. Every light, whether Strobe, LED, Tungsten or Fluorescent have different purposes.

For example, LED lights last a long time and rarely need replacing. Yet, their strength is sub-par when compared to strobe.

On top of this, you’ll notice that each light adds a different color cast to your subject.

Our article here gives you all the advice and tips on what you can expect from each type.

The Essential Photography Studio Equipment List

If you are looking to start or expand your studio, we have the best article for you. It might be the guide you’ve been looking for.

Whether you are starting in your home, or are creating a dedicated space, there are certain things you’ll need.

Backdrops and support systems help create the environment you want. The correct lights let you capture your subjects in the best possible light (pun intended).

Read through our guide here. You’ll find great tips on what you’ll need for any situation.

10 Tips for Making a DIY Photo Studio

Setting up a studio doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many things that you can create yourself. It feels better knowing you saved money by making it by hand.

Softboxes and diffusers can be easily made at home. Backdrops are best made at home, as you are free to create something specific.

Check out the tips on making a DIY photo studio here.

Speedlight vs.Strobe Photography: What Lighting Tool is Best?

A Speedlight is a small, mobile flash system. these are perfect for situations away from a studio or indoor location. Most photographers use these ‘on-the-road’.

Strobe lights are bigger flash units. These aren’t as mobile as speedlights, and they can’t sit on top of your camera.

Read our article here on which one is best for you and your photography work.

Light Reflectors

Studio lighting can become very expensive, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. There are ways around most of the equipment that you think you need.

The main light in a studio setting is a key light, the second being the fill, as it fills in the shadows left by the key.

A fill light can be a separate light, but why spend the extra money? A reflective surface in the form of white foam boards or a dedicated reflector works perfectly.

Read here on how you can use a reflector instead of fill light.

Reflectors are perfect stand in's for better photography lighting

Getting the Most From Your Modifiers

A modifier is best described as an add-on to your studio lighting system. Studio lights are very plain tools until you add modifiers.

With these add-ons, you can diffuse the light, you can turn it into a very strong and intense spot for very precise lighting.

Any number of different lighting situations can come from a handful of these modifiers.

Read the article here on the different range and availability of these modifiers, and how to use them.

Modifiers turn your studio light into something usable and specific

How To Use a Softbox for Photography

A softbox is a very handy lighting situation for studio photography. This is a studio strobe light with a reflective-lined opaque polyester or nylon.

This lighting solution provides a softened light to reach your subject. Otherwise, expect a harsh illumination.

A softbox should be the first thing you buy after obtaining a studio light. They’ll help your subjects appear more natural.


How to Use Window Light for Portraits

Window light is a great way to add light to your subject. Not only is it free to use, but you can also harness it in many ways.

A diffuser can make it softer, and used with a reflector can create extra fill light. Just make sure you use it at the right time of day.

The one thing you’ll need to consider is using it alongside artificial lighting. Natural light tends to be warmer, so use an additional warm light source.

If you don’t, you’ll notice challenges when trying to color correct it through white balance.

How To Use Ambient Lighting For Atmospheric Portraits

Ambient lighting allows you to capture atmospheric portraits. When we talk about this style of lighting, it is usually associated with natural light.

This is something that can’t be easily controlled. But, it can be manipulated using props, tools or flags.

Learn how to make your own atmospheric portraits here. You just need a little of your time and creativity.

Lighting A Model With A $3 Torch

You will very often see that areas that look well lit, come out very dark when photographed. The main problem is that our eyes compensate a lot in low light conditions.

Photography in these situations needs a boost. Either adding the available ambient light or using an external light, such as flash unit or lamp.

What if you are in the middle of nowhere, and there are no plugs around? Well, a torch is a photographer’s friend. It’s lightweight and very portable.

Read our article here on how you can use a torch to light a model effectively.

A torch is a great way to light up a subject or object in cases of low light situations

Portrait Lighting Patterns & Tips

This is the fun part of fashion photography. And the most labor and research intensive.

This guide is here to help you understand what lights will have what effect on your subject.

Some photographs are lit very simply.  Others can have up to and including 6 different lights to light the background, the hair, the face, etc.

They always start with one light and work up to the multiple lighting setups. It is always beneficial for them to test effects as they go.

A diagram and lighting guide for fashion photography lighting patterns

Portrait Lighting Terms

Ever wondered what a backlight is? Or how a gel affects a scene? You have come to the right place.

Here is a glossary of all the important lighting terms you will need. Feel free to use our article as much as you need to.

Red candle lit inside a lantern set on a wooden table next to a lake at dusk

Boudoir Lighting Examples

This helpful article goes through five of the best lighting patterns to use for Boudoir photography. Either by using natural light, applying studio lights or a mixture of both.

Natural light is one of the most flattering forms of light. It is also easy to use. Have the model stand in front of a window. The distance depends on the harshness of the light.

Stand next to the window and in front of the model. Photograph from a perspective a little higher than her eye level.

Using one studio light and a backdrop, also known as a colorama, is also a very simple choice.

The light should be just off of the camera, as it will give you complimentary shadows.

If you place the light slightly above the model, then the light will drop off. This is great for a transition on parts of the body that leaves the frame.

Lighting patterns are a great base to use with your set ups for portraiture photography

How to Create Dramatic Lighting in Portrait Photography

Soft lighting can be great for professional headshots. But, it isn’t great at adding that dramatic look you might be searching for.

Dramatic lighting adds mood, tension, and interest. Some of your portraits will call for this style.

Look at adding contrast through a harsh or strong light. Shadows are a great way to add that dramatic feeling too.

For other advice on how to add dramatic lighting, read our article here.

How to Use Low Key Lighting for Dramatic Photography

Low key lighting is in opposition to high key lighting. Here, you focus on keeping the majority of the scene dark, while only illuminating the subject.

This style is best achieved with a light source that can be manipulated and controlled. The use of snoots, flash modifiers and flats are very important.

Everything you need to know about low key lighting is here, in our article.

How to Use Butterfly Lighting for Portraits

Butterfly lighting is achieved from using one light source, usually an artificial light, such as a speedlight.

The name is derived by the shape of the shadow that falls under the subjects’ nose.

As the light is placed directly above the camera, facing downwards at a 45° angle, it leaves a slightly shaded area.

This style is one of the main five types of lighting for portrait photography. Learn about it and add it to your repertoire.

Rembrandt Lighting Photography: What It Is and How to Use It

Rembrandt was a Baroque style painter from the Netherlands, who focused on landscapes and portraits.

His use of Chiaroscuro lighting was prominent, representing a dark mood through contrasts between light and dark areas.

By following the lighting techniques he employed, you can create very bold portrait images. It has the possibility of adding that powerfulness your images are calling for.

How To Use Clamshell Lighting | Photography Lighting Setup

Rather than using one light to illuminate the face, you can use two. Here, you help to eliminate and minimalize shadows.

This is a lighting technique that can be used by speedlights and/or studio strobes. Even reflectors alongside beauty dishes work well.

For all information surrounding this style of lighting, read our article here.


Low Key Lighting

This is a very minimal lighting setup where the majority of the image is black. This is relatively easy to do if you have a lot of light.

The purpose is to highlight a specific area of the model where the viewer will place their focus.

The ambient light should be as low as possible. There should be no light other than the flash or ‘strobe’ unit you are working with.

Read through our article here and go experiment.

A night time portrait to show lowkey lighting for fashion photography

Beauty Dishes

Beauty dishes are a standard form of photography lighting in fashion image capturing. They are also inexpensive.

They work either wired or wirelessly, depending on the system you prefer. Each beauty dish works in two ways, either with or without the grid.

These can really add dramatic lighting to a scene where a softbox or umbrella spreads the light out more.

Read more about the dishes here and how they can benefit your work.

Using a beauty dish for dramatic lighting for fashion photography

How to Use Short and Broad Lighting in Portrait Photography

There are many different ways you can use light to capture your portraits. They are usually connected to the shadows the lights leave behind on the subject’s face.

Short and broad lighting are common ways to light a subject. They can be used to add interest, contrast or highlight a specific part of the person’s face.

A broad light allows the lighter part of someone’s face to be closest to the camera. Short lighting setups concentrate more on the shadows that form.

For all the information you need on these lighting styles, read our article here.

How to Use a Rim Light for More Powerful Portrait Photography

Rim lighting lets you focus detail around the edge of a subject. It usually relates to a person’s head, yet it can be used for the entire body.

To use this type of lighting scenario, you might need more than one light. The idea is to better separate your subject from the background.

Not only does it help to stop the two elements from converging, but it also adds depth to your image. An aesthetic image is more pleasing to the eye.

Photographing in Dappled Light

Dappled light is the perfect addition to portrait photography. Not only does it add interest, but it completely changes the mood and meaning of the image.

There are many ways you can achieve this lighting effect. It is easier than you think. With a little forethought and planning, you can create some dramatic portraits.

By utilizing nature, or creating something from scratch, you’ll be able to play around with shadows and highlights. It might just be the best thing you ever tried.

Review: Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop by SLR Lounge

No doubt you have heard of SLR Lounge. they are a photography blog that offers workshops across many different photography fields.

This workshop concentrates on naturally lighting couples. Here, they focus specifically on engagement photography.

From planning to posing, looking at interaction, lighting, and post-production. They cover everything you need to capture the couple in the best possible light.

Here you’ll find our review of the course. This way, you can decide if the course is for you or not.

12 Tips for Natural Light Portraits: From Dull Photos To Dreamy Portraits

Photography is full of ‘How did they do that?’ Rarely can you find the details you need without joining an online course.

The one area that can become complicated is lighting for portraiture. There are probably more possible lighting systems than there are stars in the sky.

Having the recipes for these complicated systems will help create some of the best systems for creating stunning images.

Read the article on all the recipes you will need to start capturing perfectly lit portraiture.

African American female model touching her face, standing outside in the sunshine

Avoid These 8 Common Photography Lighting Mistakes

Mistakes happen so that you learn from them and expand your photography lighting repertoire.

You do need to know where you are going wrong so that you can learn how to create better lighting systems.

One common mistake is having the fill light in the wrong position, or at the wrong power setting.

This can cause double catchlights in the eyes, or create an image where you can’t distinguish between key or fill light.

Read here on how to correct this mistake and other six common ones.

Serious female model looking into the camera, standing in front of a black background, wearing a sheep skin lined jacket

10 Tips For Environmental Portrait Lighting

Photographing someone in a studio definitely has its advantages. You get to control every aspect, from backdrops and settings to all possible lighting patterns.

Environmental portraits are a little more challenging. You need to source a location, think about clothes, colors and the lighting situation.

Thankfully we took the time to create 10 of the best tips. They will help you get the best out of your photography.

10 Stunning Portrait Lighting Patterns Using Just One Light

You might see scores of tutorials telling you how to take a ‘correct’ portrait. They involve many lights through complex lighting setups.

But, what you don’t see is you can take stunning portraits with one light. Its all down to the look you want to achieve.

One correctly placed light source will beat three poorly placed softboxes, rim and fill lights.

Read here on how to use one light for perfect portraits. It will save you time, money and energy.

How To Shoot Atmospheric Night Portrait Photography

Portraits aren’t just for day time. they can be great at night time too.  This is especially true if you are looking for atmospheric shots.

Here, you’ll be dealing with low light conditions. It needs a little knowledge of your camera. And perhaps a fast lens. The rest is down to your creativity.

Lighting the scene can be tricky. You can either add your own through external flash units. Or use the ambient light that is around.

Either way, you’re in for cinematic results.

How to Shoot Spectacular Silhouette Photography

Light does always have to light your subject for perfect exposure. Some scenes will undoubtedly call for silhouettes.

This can be done for many reasons. If you are more interested in showing shapes and forms, for example. Perhaps you want to keep the identity of the people hidden.

Silhouettes can add an interesting mood or feeling to a scene. You’ll want to try it today after reading our article.

Wilfredo Lumagbas

Product Photography

Natural Light in Product Photography

Natural light is great for product shots, it is abundant, constant and free to use. A diffuser is needed to soften the light to allow it to fall upon the product evenly.

Reflectors create ‘fill light’ by bouncing the light back into the image.

It can be difficult to harness and control. Yet you can do so with a material, such as a white curtain. This softens the sun’s brightness.

Flags, which stop light, can keep sunlight from reaching certain parts of the product.

Showing jars using natural light is a great choice for photography lighting

Studio Set-Up

A studio is a great way to photograph a product as you have complete control over the setting and the light.

This is by far the most expensive option as you will need to buy all the equipment yourself.

An alternative could be that you rent the studio, and have access to all the equipment. This may be cheaper, but still not cheap.

Creating a portable studio with a few lights is a viable option to keep costs down.

This would allow you to pack the equipment away and take it along for an on-location photo shoot.

Read this article for a great guide to studio lighting for product photography.

A simple studio set-up with three lights to capture product photography


12 Wedding Photography Lighting Tips | From Natural Light to Flash

This extensive article looks at lighting an entire wedding. Going from the dressing room to the end of the night reception (party!).

There are many different locations throwing different temperatures at you. Wedding photography lighting will need some thought.

The best way is to scout beforehand, looking for light and settings to capture powerful images.

Natural light is a great way to illuminate your subject without too much gear. Windows are very handy as they add a soft, spread out feel.

This light will also be abundant with the outside shots, where you might want to use reflectors.

Speedlites will help fill in dark areas, and freeze motion when people are dancing. Utilize the light, add where necessary.

Using natural light to show the bridge and gusts is a great way to improve your wedding photography

Using Flash for Wedding Photography

A flash is a great tool for indoor event photography. It might even be a necessity, especially if the ambient light inside isn’t strong enough.

Wedding photography is one area where a flash is needed. Many parts of this sacred day are going to be inside. Either changing rooms, churches, registry offices, and dining halls.

Having that flash, even as a fill light, helps to keep the ISO down. A low ISO means the quality of your images stays at a reasonable level.

How To Use an Off Camera Flash

Off-camera flash lighting is a great help to your wedding photography. They can work with a Through-The-Lens (TTL) metering system.

The flash will expose the scene depending on the available light. This is a pretty smart way to add a touch of light, known as a fill when needed.

They sit on your camera’s hot-shoe, on a camera bracket, or even handheld for fast adjustments. You can even sync many flash units at the same time.

This is great for different lights hitting the same scene from different angles. Go through our article here for all the information you will ever need.

Using off-camera flash units can really boost the lighting in your wedding photography

Radio Flash Transmitter

To use these Speedlites or any off-camera lighting system, they need to connect to your camera. This happens either by infra-red signals or radio-waves.

Infra-red is standard. Yet if there is something between the transmitter and the receiver, the lights will not fire. Problem.

To combat a problem like this, you will find that a radio transmitter/receiver works better. This system certifies a correctly exposed shot.

They work and connect in a similar way,  as they work on transmitting the information to the flash unit that has a receiver attached to it.

This ensures you are confident it fires every time, with the correct amount of light.

Radio-transmitters can benefit your wedding photography

Exciting Lighting Equipment for 2018 (from WPPI)

As you will find from your own research, there are always new tools and equipment making its way into the photographic world.

One of the items seen at the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International ) for 2018 is the LitraTorch Light. 

This rugged little cube ranges from 100 to 2200 lumen depending on its use. It works underwater, up to 30m and will fit in your jacket pocket.

Read our article here on what else is coming out in 2018.

LitraTorch Light is a new and exciting piece of equipment for photography lighting


High and Low Key Wildlife Photography

More often than not, we photographers try to stay away from overcast days. For portraiture, the overcast sky acts as a diffuser, softening the light.

We tend to not include the sky in this manner as there is no detail present. The big, white empty space distracts the viewer from the intended subject.

Yet, in wildlife photography, it can be quite refreshing. As photographers stay away from this idea, they are also very interesting and unique.

Read our extensive article here on how to can create these high key images.

High key photography lighting helps to create really interesting and unique wildlife images
David Shaw

How to Light Macro Subjects

Whether you are photographing food or insects, your image might benefit from some extra light.

These can be in the form of natural light, used with a reflector or from an external unit like a flash gun or ring flash.

This article shows you what is available and how to harness this added light to get the best out of your macro photography.

A DIY photography lighting setup for photographing insects
Spencer Cox

9 Great Tips for Taking Cloudy Day Photography

Cloudy day photography can add an interesting background to landscape or portrait photography. The defined shapes amidst a blue sky can really ‘make’ an image.

The other benefit here is the light you get. The clouds act as a natural light diffuser. This cuts any harsh light and gives it a softer touch.

If you’re looking for a softly lit portrait, wait for the clouds.

How to Create Perfect Exposure | Metering Modes in Landscape Photography

The perfect exposure doesn’t just come down to the type of light in your scene. It is also down to how your camera sees that light.

Even if you are experiencing the best light in the world. The wrong metering mode can interpret your scene in a completely different manner.

Learning about metering modes will help any area of photography. Read all the information you’ll need her. It might be the missing key.

How to Use Natural Light for Amazing Landscape Photography

Natural light is the perfect way to light any landscape scene. Different light comes at different times of the day. Seasons and weathers bring their own touches.

These different temperatures and intensities of light only benefit your landscape photograph. They can add contrast, texture and color casts.

If you’re looking for ways on how to boost your landscape photography, utilize the light. It can make all the difference.

How to Photograph Lightning for Maximum Impact

Lightning is one of nature’s mysterious joys. Frightening yet electrifying at the same time.

You would think that it’s somewhat complicated to capture. But, you’d be wrong. If you have a digital camera and a tripod, it’s easy enough for all levels.

The difficult part is finding a suitable location. You’re never sure where the lightning strikes will happen. But when it does, you’ll be ready.

How to Shoot Street Photography in Any Light: From Rainy Days to Bright Sunshine

The weather can change at the drop of a hat. One of the areas that are affected by this is street photography.

You may think that adverse weather would make for poor images. For portrait photography, you might be correct.

Street photography can benefit greatly from sleet, snow or even angry clouds bringing rain. Our article tells you how to capture the street in any light.

Golden Hour Photography

The golden hour is like catnip for landscape, architectural and portrait photographers. This is the hour just before the sun sets, and before the sun rises.

It adds a beautiful, warm ambient light to the whole landscape. It isn’t as strong as direct light. This makes it easier to balance against shadows and low light areas.

This is a great time to photograph silhouettes. The sky has beautiful, warm details exemplified by the counter-weighted shape doused in shadow.

Read our extensive article here on why you will love shooting in the golden hour.

The golden hour is a great time for photography lighting

How to Take Awesome Twilight Portraits

Twilight is often overlooked as a great time to capture portraits. We always hear about the golden hour, when the sun offers warm yet soft light.

But what if warmth isn’t the mood you are going for. Twilight lighting is a perfect opportunity to harness dark blues and purples in your scene.

Due to the lack of light, you might find that a fill flash is a great way to supplement the ambient light available.

If you’re looking for a way to make your twilight images awesome, you have arrived in the right place.

DIY Lighting

10 DIY Lighting Ideas

Lighting is always needed in low-light situations, or if you want to create an interesting effect.

You’ll find them in sutiods most of the time, and they can cost a fortune.

Luckily for you, we have collected the best ten ideas you can use to make your own, DIY photography style.

You will need to get creative to save yourself those big bucks. Using a torchlight is a great place to start. Use a diffuser made from a hole in a ping-pong ball.

The torch fits inside, and there you go. Perfect for close-up food photography shots.

Read the other nine ideas here in our extensive article. You won’t need anything else.

Diy photography lighting can be made out of almost anything

Speedlite Modifiers

You might have seen the many different kinds and styles of lighting they have in professional studios. You might also have checked out how much they would all cost.

I know, they are very expensive. But all is not lost. You can create similar techniques for a fraction of the cost. All you need to start is a Speedlite.

One simple way of making a snoot (intense beam of light) is to use a Pringles can and some straws. Did I mention you need to be creative?

Read our article here on how you can have fun while modifying your Speedlite.

A speedlite is a great addition for diy photography lighting as there are many modifiers you can make for them

Cheap DIY Diffuser

A diffuser is a handy accessory. Whether you are shooting portraits or people at events, you might find your flash is a little too strong.

Fret not, as what you need can be created cheaply and quickly. All you need is a few materials from a hardware store if you don’t already own them.

Use a smidgen of creativity and some elbow grease and a little money. With these,  you can create a tool that you will come to love.

Your subjects too, as there is less flash in their faces. All the information you need, is in our article, here.

A diffuser is a great diy photography lighting accessory for macro photography

DIY Ringlight

Lighting your subjects can be tricky. Even having all the lights in the world means you need to know how to use them all, and where to put them.

Your idea, concept, and creativity will determine these factors. You will need to think of the main light, and a ‘fill’ to get a good, balanced exposure.

One of the simplest ways is to light the face directly. A ring light will do this really well. You don’t need to buy one, as we will tell you everything you need.

A ring light will help to light your subjects for your diy photography lighting shoots

DIY Lightbox

A lightbox is something you can make easily at home. Its purpose is to create a white space that allows that item to look as if it is floating in space.

This box, coupled with a few lights will help you create a beautiful, constructive product photography setup. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.

Find out how to make one here and how it will benefit your DIY photography skills.

A homemade lightbox is a great way to use DIY photography lighting to capture your product

Creative Lighting & Techniques

How to Shoot Fantastic Light Trails

A strobe or flash unit is not the only kind of artificial light that you can use. Anything that provides a light source can act as a great source for your subjects.

Small torches are sufficient enough to light a subject or a scene. It is even more effective during a long exposure, in what we call painting with light.

As your shutter stays open, the torch is free to move around the object, lighting as your camera captures. You are the one who decides how to light the situation

Read here on how to create these for stunning, product photography.

Invisible cars on a motorway in Brussels with streaming light trails

How to Use a Ring Flash for Creative Lighting

A ring flash is easily explained as a flash that comes in the form of a ring. This lighting solution fits around your lens, rather than sitting on your camera.

This was first designed for dental photography. It allowed a complete blanket of light that created shadow-less images.

Nowadays, photographers use them for close-up portraiture.

If you ever wondered how it can be used for creative purposes, read our article here. It has everything you need.

How To Get Creative With Fairy Light Photography

Fairy lights are a versatile way to light a subject. They add a minute amount of light, which can be placed very close to the subject you are capturing.

What makes them so special is their size. The wire they sit on helps you attach, wrap or even curl around almost anything.

You’ll also find they are perfect for bokeh purposes. Use them to add interest to the background, or a hint of interest in the foreground.

How to Create Impressive Light Graffiti

Impressive light graffiti comes from great planning. Having the appropriate lighting tools is only half of the battle.

Unless you have a great location and something interesting to write, it is going to be a challenge.

For all the tips and techniques you’ll need, read our article. This is a great starter for those interested in images that impress.

How to Take Awesome Color Gel Photography: 10 Ideas

If you’re looking for a more interesting and creative way to capture portraits, you’re in the right place.

Color gels are pieces of colored cellophane that fit over your speedlight or strobe flash. They add a pop of color where it would otherwise be white.

They can be used in conjunction with other colors, adding depth. Let your creative side loose and use this article to create some memorable portraits.

How to Photograph Christmas Lights

Christmas lights or fairy lights are a great way to light a scene. They are versatile and usually, long enough to go anywhere you need them too.

As this source consists of many tiny lights, they can be used in numerous different scenarios. Perfect for adding small amounts of detail that don’t steal the show.

For tips on how to use them for product and food photography, read more here.

How LED Light Sticks Are Taking Light Painting Photography to a New Level

LED light sticks are a new way to light your subject and scene. They are mobile and versatile in what they can create.

For light painting, LED light sticks are the way to go. Especially if you are looking to add interest to your background.

All you need is an LED light stick, long exposure, and this article. Then you’re ready to go.

Adding Light During Post-Processing

How to Achieve Artistic Chiaroscuro Lighting in Photography

During the photography, stage is not the only time where you can incorporate light into your image.

This can also be completed during the post-processing period, by using an editing software package such as Photoshop.

One photography lighting technique that you may wish to incorporate is the chiaroscuro style, reminiscent of 1940’s noir films.

This style adds interest and helps you turn a photograph into a story. It also helps to add depth to an image, making the ambiance feel a little warmer.

Taya Ivanova

How to Create Cool Lighting Effects in Photoshop

If you didn’t manage to capture the light while photographing, you can add it to the final stage of your image workflow.

One style that can be added later in Photoshop is the graduated filter. This allows you to add light to specific parts of the image.

By not applying the lighting style to the entire image, you keep the quality and the mood of the image.

Read here on how you can use this to the benefit of your photography.

Simon Bond

Looking for more flash photography tips? Check out our new post about flash bracket next!

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['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']
['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', 'RealPlayer']