Best type of light for portaiture?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Best type of light for portraiture?

TristatePhoto wrote:

Easy. Yungnuo 560 II + 8 pack of Eneloops Rechargeable batteries with battery charger.

Also get yourself a cheap light stand for $30 or less that comes with a bracket holder and since you don't have an assistant I'd go with a 43" umbrella that can be used as shoot through or bounce.

Truthfully there is no such thing as "best type of light" for portraiture.

Some photos look better with bare flash, some soft light, some you can get away with using the mid day sun.

What manners more is that you

A. Know how the inverse square law works and how it can work for you and against you.

That is working by rote.

B. Know your lighting profiles and how to position your light source or yourself to your light source (such as the sun) to get the proper lighting that you want.

That's also working by rote. That's all you can do when you have no modelling lights.

Working by a pre-determined set of rules is fair enough, when it's all you CAN do.

But it is an extremely hard way to LEARN to light, and it is also a lot slower and less involving when you HAVE learned.

Shooting a lot will also teach you how to see the light.

Except that you CAN'T actually see it until you have a test shot, and then you are seeing it only 3" across instead of life size.

Even then, you are giving your attention to the back of a camera, which means you are NOT giving it to the model. Photographers have no idea how annoying this constant chimping is for the model. It is extremely rude. If you MUST do it, you must share the image with the model to involve her fully in the business of being photographed.

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