The Important of Photo Lighting Equipment
If you want to create professional looking photographs, you’ve got to understand light. While professional photo lighting equipment isn’t strictly necessary, you do have to have a situation where you’re in control. Here’s a look at some of the photography lighting equipment you may want to choose.
For most of us, a light meter is still standard photographic lighting equipment. Unless you have a newer digital camera with a built in spot meter, you’re going to need one of these to determine the appropriate exposure. You’ll also need a reflector for directional lighting. Most have one shiny side and one white side to offer differing light output. Add an external flash that works with your specific camera to give you better light control and range. Beware of older external flash units if you’re using a digital SLR. Their different voltage could kill your camera. Use these only with an adapter, or better yet – not at all.
A slave flash is also important. This piece of photo lighting equipment is not meant to be mounted on your camera, but instead operates off camera. Generally, this works using a trigger flash – a sensor that can identify when your camera is taking a picture and will set off the slave flash. You can also directly connect a digital camera to a slave flash array so that it tells the flash when to operate.
Hot, or continuous lights, are those large studio lights that we all expect to see. Always on, these are generally fairly hot in temperature, which can make them uncomfortable to be around. Fluorescents offer a different option, now, which is less expensive, less hot, and generally easier to deal with. They also last longer than halogens or tungsten lights.
Strobes are another important piece of photo lighting equipment. They flash using either a remote control or a slave sensor. Some are used in concert with continuous lights, while other sets are strobe only. The type you choose will depend on your photographic style. You may also want a light umbrella, with reflective materials on the inside to bounce light back at your subject. This is a non-directional light that’s more pleasant than direct lighting.
Soft boxes work similarly, but are generally softer. These boxes are mounted over the light itself, and the light has to pass through them to reach the subject. They’re often black on the outside and reflective on the inside. They’re more expensive than umbrellas, but you can make your own if money is a consideration. They’re a useful piece of photo lighting equipment that can improve the look of your images significantly.
These aren’t all the photo lighting equipment options out there, but they’re some of the basics. They can help you put together an effective studio. The best way to decide what you need after that is to experiment. You might just be surprised by what you may find!