Creative With Lighting

Getting Creative With Lighting

Getting Creative With Lighting with Ashley Boring

One of my favorite things about studio photography is that it provides a blank canvas for endless possibilities. You get to choose and control every aspect of the shoot, from the styling, props, background and wardrobe—but to me the most important thing is the lighting. Lighting can change the mood and look of an entire image. When you get creative and try new things with lighting, you can create unexpected and impactful images. Here are just some of my favorite ways to get creative with lighting.

Light Painting

One of my favorite ways to add creative lighting to portraits is to incorporate light painting. This is a technique where you drag your shutter and move light through the frame to get streaks of light. This can be a very fun technique to do, especially since no two images will be the same and you can get some really creative in-camera effects. For this shoot, I used two lights: a constant light and a strobe. This is critical for light painting portraits since the strobe will freeze your subject and the constant light will allow you to get light streaks in your final photo. For this shot, I used a Westcott 53” Deep Silver Umbrella with a FJ400 wireless strobe to freeze my subject and a Flex RGBW LED Panel for the constant light. I decided to turn the constant light to an orange color to help complement the teal monochromatic tones in the rest of the image.

How it works: Since most strobes sync with cameras around 1/250th of a second, if you lower your shutter speed, you will just be adding more ambient or constant light. When light painting, light streaks occur when you have a slower shutter speed, while also having motion with your constant light. Motion can be added in many ways. Some of the most common are moving your light, your subject, or even moving your camera. For this shoot, I used a combination of the subject moving and the camera moving. My settings were ISO 100 F5.6 at a 1-second exposure. The longer the exposure, the more time you will have to light paint. The exposure of the constant light will also increase while the strobe exposure will stay the same.

Creative With Lighting

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the January 2022 magazine.