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Live Workshop — One Light Challenge Product Photoshoot

In this live show Karl will undertake the challenge of a product shoot using only one light, showing it’s not about how much equipment you have, but more about how you use what you do have. Product photography can be a challenging genre of photography, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create professional results with minimal equipment. Often, when thinking …

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A guide to understanding studio lighting

When it comes to photography lighting, the move from natural light to studio flash is a definite step-up, but there’s no disputing the extra creative freedom it allows. Understanding the basics of studio flash lighting will help ensure a smooth transition; the same way understanding fundamentals like aperture, shutter speed and exposure will help you switch from Auto to Manual …

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Mistakes to avoid when using studio lighting

Photography can be considered both a science and an art, with basic principles of physics governing the practicalities of recording light, how we direct and modify it, and also the human biological visual responses to the mood of an image. All of this together contributes to the outcome and overall success of an image. If you really want to understand …

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Case study: Natural light product photography

Case study: Photographing products with minimal equipment In the past, I’ve proved that you don’t need lots of equipment to get good results and I demonstrated this again for our recent ‘Working to a brief challenge’ when I shot a product shot of a wine bottle using only natural light. When you apply the knowledge of light, you can achieve …

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The Magic of Parabolic Lighting

As a professional photographer, one of the most common questions I get asked is “If you could have just one lighting modifier, what would you choose?” And my answer is always the same — “The Para 133”.

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Lighting modifiers: The beauty dish

The beauty dish is often a popular lighting modifier among fashion and beauty photographers because of its versatility and unique light. In my next live show I’ll show you exactly what you can achieve with it and demonstrate how you can modify it even further.

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Lighting Modifiers: Softboxes

Softboxes are popular modifiers that are well suited to many genres of photography. Here I explain the advantages, disadvantages and effects of softboxes as well as offer some alternatives.

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Light meters and why I don’t use them

A recent post about light meters on my Facebook page created a lot of debate and many photographers defended their use, which of course is absolutely OK. I’m not saying you can’t use them, I’m only here to explain why for me they are a waste of money and can negatively affect creativity. Please read on if you have an …

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Portrait photography — Three creative one light portrait lighting setups

I’ve often heard photographers use the excuse that they don’t have many lights, but when it comes to portrait photography, you can get amazing results using just one studio light. Looking to create a beautiful soft light portrait image? Or perhaps you want something more dramatic and moody? Even if you’ve only got one light, with a little creativity you …

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Portrait lighting setups — Two light setup ideas

In a previous article I discussed three easy portrait lighting setups using just one light, but for those of you who have more equipment, I thought I’d go one step further and show you some more great setups, this time using two lights. When it comes to portrait photography, whether you’re using one light or four, you can get some …

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Portrait photography lighting ideas — Three creative ways to use three lights

From soft, angelic lighting to darker, more contoured lighting, there’s no end to how creative you can be using three lights for portrait photography. If you’re looking for some creative three light portrait ideas, I’ve put together three different setups you can add to your arsenal. These setups use only basic modifiers and show effective techniques that can help add …

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Portrait lighting ideas – Creative four light setups

When it comes to portrait photography, you often see results that are really quite similar. Softboxes are a go-to modifier and aim is either Butterfly, Loop or Rembrandt lighting. But with a little creativity (and the right knowledge), the possibilities are endless. In previous articles I’ve shown you how to create great portraits using just one, two and three lights …

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Everything you need to know about umbrella lighting

In any photography studio — amateur and professional alike — you’ll probably find at least one or two umbrellas. These lightweight and affordable modifiers can be used to achieve a number of different results, which is part of the reason they’re so widely used. In our previous ‘Umbrella Lighting’ live show, I took a closer look at these popular modifiers, …

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A simple 2 light portrait set-up

In this short video I take pictures with an economic Olympus OMD-M10 Micro 4/3 sensor camera and some with the Canon Mk-III but just with a standard 50mm lens. Remember: The soft boxes I use are top quality and very decently priced broncolor soft boxes that also fit other studio light brands and even your Speedlite flashes (with the right …

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Choosing the right lighting system

Choosing or even switching lighting systems can be a big decision, so I’m going to share the things I considered before switching my own system from Elinchrom to broncolor. I made the switch some years ago, but it was a decision that was long overdue. Before I made the change, there was a lot of thought and considerations, including the …