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

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

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.

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