02. Types of studio lighting

There is a multitude of studio lighting options available, but essentially they all do the same thing — give artificial daylight balanced illumination. There are, however, a number of differences in the way each works, which Karl explores in detail in this chapter.

In this photography class he explains the fundamental workings of studio lighting, the advantages and disadvantages of different systems as well as the type of work they are best suited for.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Different types of studio light
  • The fundamentals of working with lights:
  • – Power sources
  • – Power settings
  • – Triggering lights
  • Adjustments and attachments
  • Pack systems vs monoblock systems vs lithium systems
  • Systems best suited for studio and location work

Comments

  1. For someone like myself who has limited experience with studio lighting, I’ve watched so far the first and second video’s in this section and have been very impressed with the presentation and the information given on each subject. Just what I’ve been looking for.

    1. The best $14 ever spent. This course gives “Lights, Camera, Action” a whole new meaning and armed with such knowledge and insight, we too can bring life and Action” to our still photography.

      Great job. Your explanations and examples are simply amazing.
      Well done Karl

  2. Awesome content! I watch a ton of training videos and have actually learned more from these than I have in the past.

  3. I am really enjoying this course! The content is helping close gaps in my knowledge of their use even though I ‘ve watched many other courses simply showing them in operation. Excellent fundamentals!

  4. This is amazing,no doubt internet is full of knowledge (may be relevant or not) but at least someone like you is giving the pin point information to others.

    I am happy that i found one of you video on you tube and subscribed your channel after watching it.

    This is the exact way of knowledge transferring…loved it !

    btw Karl … you look more handsome without hair 🙂

    Love from India !

    Vijay

  5. You’ve done a great job on these tutorials, Karl, and you are a very good instructor.

    Question: Why use a flash at all? What does a flash light do that a spot light cannot do? I know in another episode you explain how flash duration, etc. captures motion and therefore it is imperative to utilize it; but why use it on a model, for example, that is not moving? Flashes seem rather complex, they have to be timed to the camera, and therefore expensive?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Steve, I think your questions will be answered as you continue through this course. But do come back to me at the end if you have further questions. Cheers Karl.

    1. Hi Jean, let us know when you want to do that and as a member of KTE we’ll see if we can arrange a discount with bron for you.

  6. thank you Karl and Team, perfect tutorial as usual. may i ask your opinion for the quality of Godox products which are more economy for students?

    1. Hi Art, I’m afraid we have never used Godox products so we are unable to comment on their quality or reliability.

  7. Fantastic training style, its not easy to teach even if you are brilliant at your subject.
    I am learning so much and a great start to my passion

    1. Thank you James, I enjoying explaining things and in my photography I like to work in a logical process and I find I can apply that process to explanation too.

  8. Hello Karl very much enjoying your courses, you are an excellent instructor.
    I am curious if you have ever used continuous lighting ( in particular arri lights) in conjunction with strobes, for fashion shots, I am starting to experiment with this and am interested in your take on it.

    Cheers
    Gerry

    1. Hi Gerry, I’ve used HMI lighting in conjunction with strobes/studio flash but Arri are usually video lights that are at 3600K colour temperature so you would need to put correction gels on them or on the strobes to get them both the same colour – flash is 5600K. HMI is already 5600K.

  9. Love the videos, we stopped watching tv these days and seem to watch your tutorials instead. We’re weird.

    I’ve just bought a cheap studio light to play with, I’ve never done anything in a studio before, and I just want to play with the different types of lights and reflectors etc.. I believe (I’ll know when it arrives I guess) it fires from a flash sensor. Should I use that or from a sync cable?

    1. Hi Justin if the lighting kit comes with a wireless or infra red trigger then they usually work well, a cable will do exactly the same but can get in the way.

  10. Hello,Karl!I`d like to ask U a question.
    I watched broncolor “How to`s” on YOUTUBE,in the episode DANCING,Urs used HMI light and a slow shutter speed to creat a stunning motion blur, I don`t have that light. Can modeling light be used as continous light???
    One flash fires,but the other one doesn`t(I can chang the channel so that it can`t fire),just lit model.If this works,shoud I put gel on the modeling light to change the color temperature?

  11. Karl,
    I’ve gone through all your videos at least once and came back here to ask what may seem to be an obvious question. Still, I want your opinion.

    For my first “serious” lighting setup I’m considering one “location” type light with the internal battery. I’m planning on doing a lot of outdoor shooting, in rural areas of field and forest, or just away from from power sources. I could put the light head in a backpack and take it as far away as I need, and then have attach it to whatever is available to hold it, or pack in a stand too, or have an assistant simply hold the light, Then, obviously, I could use it indoors occasionally with a diffuser or box to do portraits or weddings.
    I would compliment it with a lower priced light that would probably require a battery pack or plug into the mains when I needed extra lighting indoors at events.

    Do you think that is a good choice for my situation?

    Thanks so much,
    Steve

    1. Hi Steve, as it sounds that you are mostly set on the outdoor portraits and fashion then I’d consider two outdoor lights with a lithium battery. I’m not sure of your budget but the Siros L kit could be a great choice. You can of course use these lights indoors too and they are often as versatile as mains powered lights you just might want to invest in a couple of spare batteries. Cheers Karl.

  12. Karl , Loving your website and learning a lot, I have quick question. I would like to buy a pair of ELB 400 for location people photography. The only drawback seems to be that the battery ports have only two settings 100% and 50%. Am I missing something? Is the power more adjustable ?

    1. I’ve had a quick look at the specs and it has variable power settings like most studio/location flash units. I think you may be looking at the charging settings not the power outputs.

  13. Karl,
    Are light stands like tripods where different brand light heads can fit on any stand in the way that tripods are universal to accept different heads? There is a large used market for lighting where I am at and good deals can be had on different bits so I am wondering if they can always be put together?

    steve

  14. Hi Karl

    Besides BronColor, do you recommend any other Light Brands that are not as expensive?

    Is it okay to mix lights from different brands?

    Amit

  15. One thing I was curious about is the modelling lamp. Does its light output impact on the scenes overall lighting? It looks like it would though I wondered if perhaps it is not noticeable because the flash is brighter so the halogen is drowned out? Or maybe it is removed with the use of adjusting the white balance in post?

  16. Awesome course Karl, I am very new to using lights and flash and this is really pointing me in the right direction,

  17. Thank you so much, Karl, for all if that information and thanks for your time you spend to teach us.

    1. Thank you Ahmed and thanks for being a member in our community so that we can provide you with great new content!

  18. Hi, I really love the teaching style and have been binge watching since I signed up 🙂

    In terms of lighting you do mention continuous very briefly but mention poor CRI and few other things that seem to relate to older style ones. I’ve been looking at one that has a CRI of 96 that is adjustable between 3150-6300 Kelvin and also has a flash function to it. It seems that since the light is already quite soft wouldn’t need diffusers. As I’d never be shooting in harsh daylight sun and need to overpower it wondering what thoughts you have? It’s the rotolight aeos in particular that I’ve been looking at.

    1. Hi Cameron, LED’s are improving all the time in terms of CRI etc but you’ll never be able to claim that the lighting is soft unless A). The LED panel is 2m x 1.5m and close to your subject, or B) The light is modified through a diffuser such as a scrim or large softbox. There is no such thing as a small soft light, that would break the laws of physics 🙂

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