Lighting Modifier Advice For New Studio Space

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
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Re: Lighting Modifier Advice For New Studio Space
In reply to DecibelPhoto, Jan 31, 2013

DecibelPhoto, perhaps it would be better to call the rules for light size and distance guidelines rather than rules.  The rules (or guidelines if you prefer) are simply an easy and safe way to get a beginning portrait photographer started turning out good portraits.  As they gain a working knowledge of lighting they can branch out into using other types of lighting to vary the look of their portraits.

You may never have encountered a well know photographer who follows these rules/guidelines but I assure that there are a great many who do.  The rules/guidelines work and are included in almost all beginner tutorials on portraiture for just that reason.

There are many ways to light a subject for a portrait.  There were really only small hard light sources in the beginning but by developing a comprehensive knowledge of lighting and how it can be modified the early portrait photographers were able to produce beautiful softly lit portraits.

When modifiers like softboxes became available many of the older photographers were very unhappy because a new photographer could produce a beautiful portrait with only a fraction of the knowledge about lighting they had and with fraction of the work that they needed to use.  On the other hand some of the older photographers embraced the new type lighting and applied their knowledge of lighting to produce a whole new class of portraits.

Over the years lighting has changed and so have the styles.  The great thing is that there is room for a photographer who does portraits at Walmart, one who uses only softboxes, one who uses both soft and hard lighting, and one who specializes in using classical Hollywood Fresnel lighting.  I wouldn't be surprised to find someone out there who specializes in using an old 8"x10" plate camera with flash powder.

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