Lighting sources and characteristics:

Built-in and studio flash[edit | edit source]

See main article on flashes.

Built-in flash[edit | edit source]

  • Convenient
  • Harsh light
  • Can be supplemented with separate "slave" flash

Studio flash[edit | edit source]

  • Extremely versatile
  • Adjustable position, intensity

Studio lighting[edit | edit source]

Off-Camera flash[edit | edit source]

Infrared triggers[edit | edit source]

  • Limited range
  • Must have a clear visual path between flashes
  • Great for controlled studio settings
  • Included as a feature on many flashes

Radio triggers[edit | edit source]

  • Very good range, and radio frequency can go through walls easily
  • Extremely versatile
  • Expensive
  • Can be used to trigger remote cameras, and many kinds of strobes/lights/flashes

Household lighting[edit | edit source]

Standard lamps[edit | edit source]

  • Weak light sources; long exposure, wide aperture, or fast film needed.
  • Color temperature variable; difficult to correct
  • Difficult to position
  • Can have bulbs replaced with more suitable photo floodlights

Desk lamps[edit | edit source]

  • More directional than standard lamps, easier to position
  • Heat can be an issue
  • "Point source" bulbs available

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Consider unconventional options such as slide projectors and flashlights

Natural light[edit | edit source]

  • Lowest-cost option!
  • Can be harsh
  • Outdoor light very even, non-directional
  • Indoors, can use curtains or tracing paper over windows to soften light
  • Only feasible option for some subjects
  • Color temperature of high noon: ~8500-9500K, direct sun: ~5000K-6000K, overcast, ~6500K-7500K, sunset, ~4000K

Special-purpose lighting[edit | edit source]

Close-up lighting[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz, Learning to Light.
  • Joel Lacey, Essential Camera Skills
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