Studio Lighting provides the opportunity to shoot excellent quality images indoors without having to resort to high ISO and the image degradation associated with it. You don’t have to make a significant investment to get started with studio lighting. Most starter kits include 1-2 lights and some type of basic modifier. Over time you can add to your kit as your needs and skills develop. I strongly recommend that you buy into a system that offers a wide variety of modifiers, so as your skills grow and requirements change you have options.
The image above shows a vase of flowers being photographed with a large softbox. This type of modifier provides very diffuse light which virtually eliminates shadows. It is a great choice for still lifes, portraits, many different types of photography.
Here is the resulting image using the softbox.
When you wish to have more shadows and contrast in an image a grid is a good choice. It is designed to go into a matching reflector and directs the light in a very straight unobstructed path such that the resulting light is harsh and creates defined shadows. I use this type of modifier when I want a much edgier look to the image.
The image below is the result of photographing the exact same arrangement of flowers but with the grid and reflector instead of a large softbox.
One modifier isn’t better or worse than another. Select the modifier that provides the look you are wanting to achieve. An umbrella is another way to get a soft, low contrast light similar to a softbox. I typically prefer softboxes because they have the added advantage of constricting the light to a tighter area, so if you want a darker background, a softbox will be easier to control and avoid light spilling onto your backdrop. As you gain experience working with light, you will most likely grow your kit to include a variety of modifiers for varying needs.
If you are interested in learning more about lighting and perhaps acquiring your first set of lights or adding to your lighting kit please contact me. I am an authorized Elinchrom dealer and I am happy to walk you through the various options and help you identify the lights that best meet your budget and your needs.