Get started with stu­dio lights

Fancy set­ting up a sim­ple home stu­dio, but not sure where to start? James Paterson is here to help...

NPhoto - - Contents -

Master a ba­sic two-light set-up with our be­gin­ner’s guide to us­ing stu­dio flash

The mis­sion

To get to grips with stu­dio flash


One hour

Skill level

Be­gin­ner In­ter­me­di­ate Ad­vanced

Kit needed

Nikon D-SLR Home stu­dio flash kit with two heads and soft­boxes or um­brel­las

There’s a cer­tain clar­ity and crisp­ness that you get with stu­dio flash which sim­ply can’t be achieved any other way – look at the de­tail in the model’s amaz­ing tat­toos here. For those get­ting started, things can seem a lit­tle daunt­ing. But stu­dio flash is no black art, just a com­bi­na­tion of ba­sic light­ing prin­ci­ples and cam­era skills.

You don’t nec­es­sar­ily need a stu­dio – any fairly large room will do – so the best place to start is with a home stu­dio flash kit. A kit like this of­fer a range of ben­e­fits. First, it gives you con­trol over the ex­po­sure. The high flash power means that you can use lower ISOs and con­se­quently pro­duce im­ages with less noise.

Sec­ond, a stu­dio flash kit ef­fec­tively give you con­trol over depth of field, as in­creas­ing or de­creas­ing the power lets you open or close your aper­ture.

The big­gest ad­van­tage, how­ever, is the con­trol that stu­dio flash gives you over the qual­ity of light. You can choose whether it’s dif­fuse or harsh, spread wide or in a nar­row beam, and you can choose to have it emit­ting from any an­gle.

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