The stu­dio tex­ture tool­kit

NPhoto - - Niko Pedia Freeman On... -

Stu­dio light­ing has a range of func­tions, and one of them is to con­trol the vis­i­bil­ity of tex­ture in the sur­faces of ob­jects – usu­ally to em­pha­sise it, but some­times to hide it. Seen purely from the point of view of tex­ture con­trol, here are some of the most use­ful pho­to­graphic lights.

Lensed fo­cus­ing spot

For ul­ti­mate pre­ci­sion, use a Dedo­light, which uses a par­a­bolic mir­ror and lenses to fo­cus the light for pre­cise, sharp shad­ows. It has a long ‘throw’, so fur­ther away it can serve as more of a point source.

Bare bulb

Ex­actly as it says – a sin­gle point source of light, as harsh as you can get. Bare-bulb stu­dio lights are gen­er­ally flash­guns, but there’s noth­ing to stop you ex­per­i­ment­ing with a reg­u­lar, clear con­stant bulb.

Soft­box aka win­dow /area light

These come in a wide va­ri­ety of sizes, and are es­sen­tial for shoot­ing shiny sur­faces (see the ta­ble on page 80). If your sub­ject has a mir­ror-like sur­face, how­ever, it will show any wrin­kles in the soft­box fab­ric, so a flaw­less sheet of opales­cent Per­spex may be best in this case.

Re­flec­tors

Use a re­flec­tor to re­duce tex­ture from a main light by plac­ing it op­po­site the light, to fill in shad­ows. Re­flec­tive sur­faces give the strong­est ef­fect, while plain white gives a more mod­er­ate, neu­tral, ef­fect.

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