How to Set Up Studio Photography Lighting

Photography lighting is essential to create the best pictures possible. Read on to learn how to set up different styles of photography studio lighting exist and how each affects your photography.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Photography Lighting
  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod
  • Light Meter

Step 1 - Planning Studio Lighting

First spend time planning your studio photography, there are some good things about studio lighting and there are also some negative points if it's not used properly. Photography studio lighting is actually pretty easy to get right because you just need to design the systems in a way to get light to the subjects. As long as you know what you are doing and plan carefully then you will be able to get great results.

Step 2 - Control

One of the best things about studio lighting is that it's possible to control every aspect of the light. This is a major advantage. When shooting outside or with natural light it's not really possible to control the light. Use sophisticated control systems to control the exact amount of light bouncing off your subjects. The lighting systems can be manually controlled to become brighter, softer or to produce different effects. For this reason, it's very simple to create controlled images.

Step 3 - Being Creative

The control that you get by using studio lighting means that you can be very creative. This means that you can work out how to use studio lighting effectively. These lighting devices can be used to create some amazing results that other people simply can't master. In order to get the most out of lighting you need to be creative and have a flair about you, if you're not creative then you won't be able to create good photos no matter how much equipment you have.

You can use the lighting system to create highlights, soft effects and even silhouettes if you know how to use it properly.

Step 4 - Choosing Equipment

Carefully choose the right equipment to put in your photo studio, this high quality equipment will make taking high quality photos much easier. However this doesn't make the process fool proof. The equipment may be important, however the most important thing is your personal creativity. You need to know exactly what you are doing and how you can get the best results.

Step 5 - Type of Lighting

Lighting systems can either be floor mounted or ceiling mounted. These both have their own advantages and disadvantages. When using floor based lighting these can be moved around and are much cheaper, they can however be knocked over. Ceiling lighting is popular because it's out of the way however changing bulbs is difficult and getting them fitted is more expensive.

Most people will start with floor based units because these are cheaper. At a later date it is then possible to upgrade to ceiling mounted lighting systems if you prefer.

Step 6 - Positioning Lighting Systems

Lighting systems can be positioned anywhere in your room to create very different results. For softer results the light from an external flash can be bounced off walls or ceilings. When taking photos of models light can be used from above, this will cause the hair to glow slightly.

Step 7 - Experience

No amount of equipment can ever make up for a lack of experience. You need to make sure that you know how to use all of the equipment you have before buying any more. Equipment isn't everything and shouldn't be the only thing you're interested in. Experiment with your current lighting equipment before you decide that it's not suitable and needs to be upgraded.

In time, you will learn how to set the lighting equipment up in your studio to make the most out of what you have and to enhance the appearance of your subject.

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