Photography Lighting - Background
Lighting is probably one of the most overlooked and downtrodden areas in photography yet actually its one of the most important and vital parts to master, in fact did you know the word photography in Greek means “drawing with light”.
Fortunately, photography lighting has come a long way since the ancient Greek times and you now have a whole array of gadgets and toys to choose from to take your photography to the next level.
Types of Lights
There is a whole array of photography lighting products and solutions to choose from, depending on your needs and budget, below we list the main types of lighting and why you would use each type.
Flash Lighting or Strobe Lighting (monobloc or moonlight)
Flash lighting is the most common type of studio light that you will find in a professional photography studio, usually these are paired with umbrellas or softboxes to further control the light or with light modifiers such as reflectors to bounce the light. Flash lighting, as per the name, emits a bright flash of light for a set period, usually fraction of a second and is paired with your camera so that that camera shutter opens and closes at the same time.
Continuous lights as per the name, run constantly, apart from this they look an operate much like flash lighting. The most common types of continuous lights are increasingly LED lights which makes them particularly suited to videography as video lights, however they still serve a purpose in photography especially in stills.
Speedlights or Flashguns
Speedlights or flashguns are basically miniature versions of flash lighting and they are mounted to the top of your camera attaching to the hotshoe or they can be placed on stands or placed on a level surface. The speedlight will fire by radio trigger or your camera controls at the smear time as the shutter is operated. Because of the small compact size speedlights are also cheaper to buy than dedicated flash lighting or strobes.
New to photography lighting are led lights, these are typically continuous in operation and because they aren’t as bright or intense as flash lights they are usually used to support the flash lighting or for videography as video lights. As they are mass produced and mass market technology, led lightings is generally quite cheap and effective for those on a budget.