GEAR SKILLS Let there be lights!
As an accompaniment to this issue’s free lighting poster, James Paterson demonstrates how to create classic lighting that works every time
Investing in a home studio kit is one of the best ways to take your portraits to the next level.
You can light subjects from any direction, fix attachments to change the quality and spread of the light, and use a low ISO to ensure the highest image quality. But flash can be a difficult beast to master, not least because the burst of light is almost instantaneous.
There are three main areas of control when using studio flash heads. First, you have control over the quality and spread of the light through use of attachments like umbrellas and softboxes. Second, you can put the head wherever you choose: up high, down low, in front of or behind your subject, with each position changing the look of your image. Third, you can use the power settings on the flash to control the output, which becomes important when you start balancing the light from multiple heads. Read on to find out how, by controlling these three factors, you can begin to sculpt the light so it behaves exactly how you want it to, every time.