Do you know which lighting setup is best for your shooting? Are you looking for more variety or to add more looks?

Today we’re here on set doing a portrait shoot. We’ll be going through many different lighting setups and the useful applications of each one. If you don’t have a lot of tools in your kit for lighting, then this video is perfect for you. And if you do have a lot of lighting setups, but you’re not sure which ones to use, then stay tuned.

Let’s get to it. So, over the next few minutes, we’re gonna be sharpening your skills in lighting, regardless of what tools you have. Today, though, we’re gonna be using the Light Storms from Aputure. We’re gonna be using them with our model, Erica Moyer.

Three factors- age, sex, and size.

So, when considering your lighting, there’s three factors to keep in mind – age, sex, and size. So, in general, younger men have the greatest range of versatility in lighting. On the other hand, women tend to have a different range of versatility and should generally be shot using soft lights, especially on older women. Hard light will generally accentuate the cracks and wrinkles in someone’s face, so you don’t really want to have that, especially when you’re doing beauty photos. Of course, there are exceptions, like horror, sports, and drama, where hard lights are much more suitable and you want that contrasting look. So, understanding those exceptions are your job as a photographer or videographer in this field. If you’re shooting a mystery themed portrait or interviewing a biker, though, that might call for a dramatic and edgy mood, where hard shadows would be appropriate for both men and women of any age.

Now, for lighting soft and hard light, always keep in mind the distance and size of the light in relation to your subject. In general, the closer the light is to your subject, the softer the light, and the larger the light of the source, the softer the image. Softer means softer casting shadows. A Light Storm LS 1s and a softbox a few inches away from your subject would produce the softest image possible. Now, on the other hand, a smaller light placed further away from your subject would cast harder shadows and the sharpest shadows. With these two examples in mind, consider the Light Storm your best tool as a key light, and a smaller light as a better light for your rim or kicker light.


Also, we’ll be demonstrating lighting setups based on convenience. How much can we accomplish using the least amount of lighting fixtures, and what are the benefits of using more lighting fixtures? So let’s get right to it.

one-light setup…

Here, we set up the Light Storm LS 1s and a 24-inch softbox only a few feet away from our model and at a 45-degree angle to cover as much of her face as possible. You can tell this is a soft light setup by the soft gradation at the edges of the shadows.

two-light setup…

In the two-light setup, all we did is add a second Light Storm, but an LS 1/2w, using including diffusion paper, and a few feet further from our model. Notice how her hair is subtly lit. We achieved this by feathering the light, where most of the beam is hitting the back of her head and not the side.

three-light setup…

In the three-light setup, we added a third Light Storm, another LS 1s, also with the included diffusion paper. With that light, we lit up the other side of her hair to create a symmetrical look. This is one of the many standard configurations for portraits and interviews. One of the hair lights could also be used as fill, and the hair light could highlight the top of her hair instead of the side.

Well, that’s it for now, but stay tuned for Part 2 when we’ll be covering clamshell lighting and multicolor looks. Follow us on social media and see how our affordable solutions are helping professionals on set every day. Well, for Ted Sim, and the rest of the A-team, I’m Jeremy, and we look forward to seeing you soon.


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