Blok Photo Studio
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LIVE with passion. LEARN with purpose. LIGHT the way.


Intro to Studio Lighting


One of the main benefits Blok Studio offers is its incredible amount of natural light. That along with the minimal design and ease of use of the studio is typically the primary reasons people choose to create here. Use it as a blank canvas to build upon or keep it minimal and subject focused. When natural light isn't enough, we provide studio lighting to help take your vision further.

Understanding and proper use of studio lighting can bring a great deal of value to you as a photographer and empowers you to create exceptional work no matter the lighting conditions.  It can seem like an intimidating skill to learn but starting with one light and mastering the fundamentals of that gives a great foundation to learning more complicated setups. In this post, we provide tips on how to correctly light a subject with just one light.

Light source

Consider the lighting style and mood you want to achieve when determining the light source, as difference modifiers are used to accomplish different looks. Large, diffused light sources like an octa or softbox and umbrella with diffusion panel are excellent for producing soft light. Modifiers such as a beauty dish, silver umbrella or even the bare light head are great for creating hard light. In the example, we use a 5-foot umbrella with a diffusion panel for a nice soft look.

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Light Placement

Distance will dictate the characteristics of the light, and the angle will determine where the shadows fall. The closer the light source is to your subject the softer the light, the further the source, the harder the light. Reading about the inverse square law will provide more technical insight into this. Don't be afraid to experiment with different lighting distances and angels. It's a great way to get a better understanding of how light falls on your subject and taking good notes of the setup helps also. In the example, the light source was placed camera right, about 45 degrees and 4 feet away from the subject. Also notice how the light is falling onto the subject.

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camera Settings

Having correct exposure is vital when shooting with studio strobes, so camera settings are just as important as the other areas we've covered. A good starting point would be ISO 100, shutter speed 1/125 or whatever your camera's shutter sync speed. At this point, you can you can experiment with the aperture and power setting on the flash head to find the desired lighting style. In our examples, the studio strobe was set at 1/4 power; our camera settings were F8, 1/125 and ISO 100.

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If you're interested in learning more about lighting in the studio, go sign up for our LIGHTING 101 class. This class is excellent for the beginner or intermediate photographer who is looking to add studio lighting to their skillset!