I keep saying on this blog that photography is all about light. And it really is. It is of course important to have a decent camera and good quality lenses. But even if your camera boasts a huge number of pixels and you are a lucky owner of a super sharp lens, if the lighting is not right, the picture is not right.
So what types of light should be used to create the best effect? This of course depends on what you want to achieve. In studio photography there are three main types of light: continuous tungsten light, continuous fluorescent light, and flash light.
Continuous tungsten lights are often called hot-lights, and not without a reason. Tungsten lamps (which are quartz halogen lamps) generate bigger amount of heat than light, so they literally become very hot! They also produce very warm, yellowish light (about 3200-3400 Kelvins).
Continuous fluorescent lights are often called cool-lights, and they do not get hot. They produce daylight balanced colour output (abut 500-5500 Kelvins).
Theoretically warm and cool lights should not be mixed to avoid problems with White Balance. But in practice, if you know what you are after, you can use both types of light simultaneously to pursue your creative visions. (You can see some examples of it below. We used tungsten light for the background and daylight balanced head to highlight the model. It works lovely, doesn’t it?).
Apart from continuous light, photographers often use flash light. Every flash lasts typically 1/1000 to 1/200 of a second and has colour temperature of about 5500 Kelvins. There are two main types of flash lights: hot-shoe flashes (flashguns) and studio ones (strobes). Flashguns produce very harsh light and for the best results it is recommended to use them off-camera and preferably with a diffuser. Studio lights are much more powerful and controllable.
In one of the next entries we will discuss how to use studio lights to achieve different results. For now we attach few of the images taken during one of the fashion photography training we attended. Playing with light can really be fun!