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lighting basics
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The goal for anyone shooting still life scenes is ultimately to come away with images that are compelling -- to capture images that are worth printing, framing and living with. A photograph, however, tends to have a shorter "wall life" than say, a painting. Much of this has to do with the fact that the painter has ultimate control and artistic freedom in every space of the canvas, and is limited only by the capacity of their vision and skill.

The photographer, on the other hand, has the added challenge of capturing images as they appear in reality, and unless they factor in every element of the exposure, these images run the risk of being cast into that "almost great" category. For the still life photographer, the biggest of these challenges has to do with the lighting. Understanding the nature of light and learning how to control and modify it will ultimately bring you to the point where you are, in essence, "painting with light".

In illustrating some basic lighting and camera techniques, this lesson will start you thinking about the fundamentals of artificial lighting and how to best use it to serve your needs.

(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  • How Not To Shoot Still Lifes
  • Setting Up Simple Studio Lights
  • Switching To Manual
  • Adjusting White Balance
  • Positioning Your Main Light
  • Adding A Second Light
  • Repositioning The Lights
  • Creating The Backlit Shot
  • One Light At A Time
  • Shooting Black & White and Sepia Digitally

Equipment Used:

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