Although studio lighting may seem confusing and difficult to set up, it is one of the easier skills related to photography to learn. When it comes to photography, the lighting and exposure are both key elements to your photos so you want to get it right. Knowing what kind of lighting you want is also very important to decide so that the right equipment can be purchased. In a studio there is potential for either floor mounted lighting or ceiling mounted lighting. Floor mounted lighting is less expensive and easier to move and manipulate. Although these lights are more likely to be knocked over and damaged they are a good starting option. Ceiling mounted lights are more expensive and more difficult to move and maintain.
You may feel like you need to spend a lot of money on expensive ceiling mounted lighting equipment but with these simple steps to help you set up studio floor lighting, you will quickly be able to start bringing your ideas to life.
- Have the correct lights on hand: It is recommended to have 3 different studio lights for the best outcome: the main light, the fill light, and the rim light. Properly set up the lights on their stands and turn them on to make sure they work on full power.
- Connect your lights to your camera: Using your manuals for this will make it easier. You can set off the lights by using a remote, pc sync cable, on-camera flash, or in-camera system.
- Set up the main light: The main light is meant to add definition and highlight the subject.
- Add in the fill light: The fill light is set up right in front of the subject. It is usually placed lower than the main light and is less powerful than the main light. It is used to fill in some of the shadows created by the main light.
- Set up the rim light: Depending on the effect you are looking for, set this up either above or below the subject. This light will help the subject stand out from the background.
- Once everything is setup, you can move the lights around: One of the benefits of floor mounted lighting is the ability to control everything about the lights which is not an option when using outdoor/natural lighting. With these lights, endless effects can be created for your photos. Different distances and angles will create different effects so play around with the lights until you get the effect you are looking for.
Try out different flash powers: Again, the ability to control the lighting is very beneficial. With the flash, you can create brighter or softer images to your preference so have fun, be creative, and try different things!