Posted on March 29, 2011
Light is one of the most important factors of photography. You can’t shoot anything without light, unless you use night vision cameras, and therefore it’s great that there is light almost everywhere. Light varies in color and brightness, and this makes a huge influence on the photos you are taking. Usually the light you want to use is not mobile, such as natural light, so to get nice photos you have to position yourself and the camera depending on were the light is coming from. If you are planning on shooting some nice photos with the opportunity to move the light, you have to use external light or reflectors. By using external lights, it’s also easier to make good looking photos with light appearing from different angles.
There are several types of “presets” on how to set up lights for a shooting. Most of these techniques are meant for portraits, but are also used a lot when shooting films. There are no rules on how to set up lights, but with these presets you can easily achieve some good looking photos. With the most common technique (for portraits) you use three light sources. If you take a look at the picture to the right, you can see that there are two lights placed in front of the subject and one light behind. The light called “Key light” is the strongest light appearing in front of the subject. The “Fill light” is a bit weaker and is meant to lower the shadows that appears on the subject from the “Key light”, and the “Back light” is there to separate your subject from the background. It creates an edge light which can either be distinct or soft. Techniques like this can easily be achieved by using several flashes or lamps.
I decided to buy two flashes and two wireless triggers to be able to shoot photos with good light, and I tested them with some friends this week. I mounted the flashes on top of two tripods and placed them on different spots to test out different techniques. Here are the results:
Picture 1 is taken with only “Key light”. Picture 2 is taking with only “Back light”. Picture 3 is taking with both “Key light” and “Back light”. In the rest of the pictures I test out different combination of these, and also by using only lights found on location. Press the picture to see it in full size.