The studio texture toolkit
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.
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.
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.