Whether you’re an amateur photographer that just began taking photos or a seasoned veteran with decades of experience, if you want the best photos, you have to have the best lighting. The more control you have over the type of lights you use, how they are placed, and how they perform, the better your images will be.
But, even though you want consistent, pure light regardless of your subject matter, the type of work you do will influence the type of artificial lighting you need. Let’s explore how to select the right lighting for some common types of photography.
Still Life and Product Photography
Photos of still lifes or products benefit greatly from what’s called continuous lighting. These lights, which might be LEDs, fluorescent, or tungsten, are on throughout the shoot, giving you the ability to see what the light will look like before you ever press the shutter button. Continuous lighting kits are traditionally less expensive than other setups and are much easier to manipulate given that you merely need to adjust height, distance, and direction to change how the light appears.
While most studio photographers opt for fluorescent continuous lights because of their resistance to overheating, LED and tungsten options are available as well. And, by pairing a continuous light kit with an adjustable power kit, you can adjust the amount of light without having to remove or swap out bulbs.
Still Life Lighting Tip: Use lighting that is easily adjustable and resistant to overheating.
If you’re pursuing portrait photography, continuous lighting may not be the best option. Instead, one of the most popular light kits of portraiture is the monolight. These lights typically have a short recycle time of around 2 seconds, meaning you can fire the light quickly for shot after shot. Variable power options mean you can harness the full power of the light or step it down in increments to reduce power for a more subdued effect.
Light from a monolight is quite crisp, yet soft at the same time, which is why it’s ideal for portraits. Add an umbrella, a grid reflector, or a softbox for even greater control over the light provided.
Portrait Lighting Tip: Use lighting that has a short recycle time and produces crisp light.
While there are plentiful lighting needs at a wedding, one type of situation that calls for a particular lighting setup is shots that involve movement. Whether it’s the couple walking down the aisle or having their first dance, external flash units like speedlights can help you freeze the action with a quick burst of light.
When looking for a speedlight setup, you might want to consider an all-in-one kit that includes the speedlight, an umbrella or reflector, a stand, and a softbox that will disperse the light. Having all of these accessories means that you can set up a quick “studio” on location to get some nice portraits of the wedding party and guests, or you can simply use the speedlight to work in a more mobile fashion, such as documenting the events during the ceremony and reception.
Wedding Lighting Tip: Speedlights make great accessories because of their versatility and portability.
A Versatile Option for All Kinds of Photography Needs
Of course, why buy multiple light kits for still lifes, portraits, weddings, and other pursuits when you can use one high-quality, highly adjustable, portable setup for various needs? If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t!
Light & Motion’s new Stella family of lights is a collection of extremely portable, compact, lightweight, and easy to set up LED lights that are changing the way that photographers light their subjects. With mounting options that that attach to your camera, c-stand, tripod, boom, and also can easily be hand held
, there are few lights that have the versatility offered by the Stella LED camera lights.
Ralph Clevenger/Brooks Institute
Stella’s portable modifiers, umbrella and softbox adapters can be seamlessly added to expand the light shaping possibilities to create beautiful lighting wherever you are.
From studio portraits to backcountry landscapes shoots to adventure images taken underwater, the Stella line of lights can go virtually anywhere and will perform as designed in the harshest of conditions.
Not only are the Stella lights waterproof with a factory sealed battery, but they are also designed and built of high-quality robust materials that ensure the light will give you years of reliable service. Light & Motion tests and certifies all of their lights for output, runtime, beam angle, water and impact resistance.
Stella lights can be operated cordless or plugged into AC. When running off the integrated battery, Stella delivers constant continuous output for up to 12 hours. These LED lights are fast charging, and incredibly easy to set up, making impromptu shoots not only possible, but look as beautifully lit as a studio shoot that’s been in the works for weeks. In fact, Stella camera lights have a high-lumen output that retains the Kelvin temperature even at varying levels of brightness. What results is a pure and gorgeous light that will make your subject shine.
When looking for the right light for the job, you can buy multiple kits to fit each job’s specific needs. Or, you can go for something that’s easily adjustable that produces crisp light, and that will work in a variety of settings. So, when asking yourself what light is the best for your needs, consider that Light & Motion’s Stella family of lights meet all these criteria - and so much more!