Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Portrait Photography using continuous lighting - video

Although I'm really a flash based studio photographer, a recent video commission gave me the chance to try out some high powered continuous lighting for studio portraits. I use similar lights for my video work, but I've never really thought of them as being bright enough of still photography.

To be honest the first few shots didn't really looked poor and I nearly didn't bother doing the video. Put simply the images were very soft, verging on them being blurred. The softness was caused by a combination of slow shutter speeds and the wide apertures I needed to use with the lights. But I'm not one for falling at the first hurdle so I turned up the camera's ISO and instantly solved the problems. In fact the results were surprisingly good as you'll see towards the end of the video.

If you have no interest in continuous lighting but do want some general lighting tips and techniques, feel free to jump past the first three minutes of the video.

The lighting set up I show in the video is often called beauty lighting and consists of a main light above the model and fill light (or reflector) below the model and a hair light behind the model. It's a very simple and effective lighting set up that I use a lot in the studio.

Disclaimer: the video above was commissioned by and other companies produce similar products.

So am I going to ditch flash and move to continuous lights? No. The pictures were good and the results were predictable (what you see is what you get) but all that light was a bit to blinding for the model.


Anonymous said...

Если я не ошибаюсь, вы применяли фильтры ко всем фотографиям. Действительно ли это так необходимо ?

Anonymous said...

Фильтры не были использованы здесь.

maitha said...


My name is maitha and I'm from united arab emirates ,,

I really like your work ,, and I'm a big fan of you

.. just asking do you have account in facebook ?

bye =)

Mattias Bergdal said...

Hi Gavin!
I saw your videos on youtube, and your work is amazing!
I am going to try some smoke photography soon now and I am using the tips I got from your videos! :)

If my english is wrong, it is because I am a norwegian ;)

Travis said...


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