June 19, 2013 Lighting 101 in-depth

WARNING: This page is the in-depth version – most likely, you want the in-brief version, linked from The Essentials page. This version is much more work and more detailed than is necessary for most users. Only proceed on this in-depth page if you have specifically been directed to the in-depth version (rare).

Lighting for form and texture ensures customers can see everything they want. This simple SDLP describes two practical techniques, that when combined, reliably deliver ideal light.

This SDLP has “in-brief” (~35 minutes + 45 minutes for Quiz) and this, the “in-depth” (~3 hours) versions.

Special warning to English-Second-Language speakers

Some languages (Polish and Catalan, at least) swap the English definitions for Aperture and Shutter speed, which can make things really confusing! In English:

  • Aperture: The size of the hole that lets light in. Measured in f-stops. Eg, f2.8, f11. On Wikipedia.
  • Shutter speed: How long the “film” (or, digital sensor) is exposed to light for. Measured in time, usually fractions, eg, 1/250th (for, one 250th of a second). On Wikipedia.

Please always use the English terms when working with abbywinters.com.

Lighting 101 in-depth

Workbook: Download this 1Mb (21 page) PDF, print in colour, double-sided, and add notes and diagrams as you watch the video.

52Mb, 39m33s.

Lighting 101 prac

Select a model of any gender (they do not have to be nude, but they must be photographed by you, for this assignment), and capture five still images that clearly illustrate the concepts in this SDLP:

  1. “Bad” examples
    1. A model lit with flat light, with a large source (never what we want in an abbywinters.com shoot, but show how you can to identify it!)
    2. A model lit with off-axis light, with a large source, shot too far off axis (again, not what we want, but show how you can identify it)
    3. A model lit with specular / harsh light, showing why it’s not suitable for our shoots
  2. “Good” examples
    1. A model lit for our needs (form and texture), only with daylight
    2. A model lit with a big source, shot appropriately off-axis, that’s perfect for our needs (form and texture)
    3. Images of how you made a large source (that meets the requirements of how we define a large source)

Ensure the submitted images are:

  • Correctly exposed
  • Correctly white balanced
  • Framed to communicate what’s necessary – no more, and no less
  • Not larger than ~500Kb per image
  • Named in a way to ensure it’s very clear clear what concept each image is illustrating (best to embed them in a MS Word document, and add clear titles / captions.

Re-read the assignment above, to ensure what you have prepared matches. Send to your Trainer for review and discussion.

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