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DIY studio light. Types of studio light
DIY studio light. Types of studio light

For most photographers, the question of how to create high-quality studio light is relevant. Since it is often not enough from the window, and stationary lamps do not give the desired result. Studio light can be made by hand. Simplicity and low budget remain an important factor.

Home photo studio

Most often this is a huge amount of expensive equipment in a large room. However, if you wish, you can assemble your own portable set of studio lights, spending a minimum of money on it.

This requires the following equipment: a camera (with a lens), synchronizers, flashes and holders for them, batteries, stands, umbrellas, softboxes, modifiers, backgrounds and, of course, bags to carry and store all the tools.

What is studio lighting like

The role of lighting in the world of photography is invaluable. With it, you can convey mood, depth, emotions. The key light is considered the most powerful source in the studio. Just don't use it, becausetoo much contrast is obtained, and half of the object is in the dark. You can correct the situation with fill light. This will make the shadows smoother and less conspicuous.

To get a more perfect picture, you need to add backlight. It will give visibility, the object will be visually separated from the background. Position it behind the model.

There are also such types of studio light as pulsed and constant. Let's take a look at each one.

types of studio lighting

Pulse light

This source gives much more power than a constant one. Even if you compare them in terms of cost, size, and other parameters. Why is this happening? Because constant illumination, while the shutter is open, must reflect photons from objects all the time in the lens. And pulsed studio light accumulates enough energy in a short time and instantly releases it in large quantities. That will make it easy to surpass the sun. Since the photograph needs a brief moment.

If you need a lot of energy to work, this is the best option. A source of pulsed light can illuminate the room as on a sunny clear day. At the same time, it will weigh only 100 grams and fit freely in your hand. It is more convenient to use pulsed light when shooting outdoors. Of course, fluorescent lamp tubes do not fold very compactly, and it is necessary to protect them from impacts. The power source is conventional batteries.

pulsed studio light

Pulsed light is emitted by flares and pilots. Witha synchronizer connects them with a camera. There is only one drawback - the release of a large amount of heat. The consequence is a huge energy consumption.

Steady light

The main sources are LED and halogen lamps. They do not communicate with the camera, which is very convenient to use. Despite the fact that pulsed, at first glance, surpasses the studio light constant, the latter has its own advantages. Using such lighting, the photographer will see what his camera sees. There are no restrictions on the use of light modifiers. Because there is little heat. Even without taking a frame, you can see the result just by moving the light.

studio light permanent

Working with him is a pleasure. No need to use a flash meter, shoot in manual mode. You just need to switch settings until you get the desired result, adjust the camera's ISO and aperture. Constant light is ideal for learning. Like him and models. She won't be bothered by harsh flashes, she'll just have to get used to the very bright light.

DIY studio light

The most common attachment for lighting fixtures is the softbox. You can make it yourself. For this you will need:

  • cardboard box;
  • drawing paper;
  • foil;
  • halogen spotlight;
  • lining translucent fabric;
  • slats;
  • knitting needles;
  • glue;
  • scissors;
  • wire;
  • nuts;
  • hairpins;
  • stationary clothespins.

The softbox consists of a frame that can bemake from any (square or rectangular) cardboard box. On the one hand, it is necessary to cut off the cover so that it is open. Then we make a reflective layer. To do this, glue the inside of the box with white paper or foil. We will make a diffuser screen from a translucent light fabric, sealing the open side with it. The softbox has a two-layer cover: outer (black) and inner (metallic reflective).

On the opposite side of the screen, you need to make a hole for the lighting device, which is used as a halogen spotlight. It is attached with wire.

diy studio light

If you need a large softbox for work, then its frame can be made of wooden slats and wire knitting needles. It should be noted that the frame on which the screen is mounted must be much larger than for a spotlight. The finished frame is covered with a cover. It can be made in two layers. So, it is easier to put on the frame, but it requires a lot of time. Separately, we fit the walls using stationery clothespins of different sizes.

The softbox attaches to a microphone stand or lamp leg. It is very important to turn it on only during shooting. Since halogen spotlights heat up the surface very much. Homemade studio light is ready.

Power and quality of different types of light

For lovers of bright shots with shallow field and open aperture, constant lighting is ideal. Although it has little power. For food, still life, food andstatic subjects in general, it is better to use pulsed light.

studio light

As for quality, opinions on this matter are very subjective. However, constant light is more pleasant and soft.

Working principles

A photographer in a home studio should have everything you need to shoot. This is a camera, a tripod for it, a background, lighting devices, reflectors, attachments. But this is not enough. It is also very important to know how to work with studio lighting, to set it correctly.

Main attributes:

  • portrait plate;
  • reflector;
  • umbrella;
  • softbox;
  • reflectors;
  • color filters;
  • tube;
  • cells.

Using a background reflector will help to evenly illuminate the background. Gives harsh shadows, directional hard light. A beauty dish is placed in front of the subject being photographed. It gives a soft directional (concentrated) light, which is complemented by diffused light. For this, a softbox and an umbrella are used. You can install the lamp behind it (in the light) or use it as a reflector thanks to the white fabric on the inner surface.

Today the most popular attachment among photographers is the softbox. The light is diffused and beautiful. Masters use octoboxes (large octagonal) and stripboxes (long rectangular). It all depends on the size, shape, distance to the object. For a group shot, octoboxes are used, for portrait shots, in full height - a stripbox.

how to work with studio lighting

To changedirection and color temperature of light are needed photoreflectors. They are also indispensable for studios with a single source. Spot (tube) is rarely used by photographers, as it is able to illuminate only a small detail.

Color filters change the color of studio lighting. They are installed on the source, directed to the background, and this is how a photo in a halo is obtained. The color of the skin does not change. Honeycombs are used to simulate sunlight.

Monoblocks, generators serve photographers as sources of constant light. Experienced craftsmen choose generators. Although they are more expensive, they are easier to work with.

Synchronization and how to do it

Today in stores you can buy a set of pulsed light. Includes:

  • stand;
  • lamp;
  • umbrellas;
  • color filters.

The inconvenience is that you need to synchronize and connect to the camera. Otherwise, the flash simply will not work.

Synchronization can be done in three ways.

  1. Transmitter (IR trigger).
  2. Radio synchronizer.
  3. Sync cable.

IR trigger is a small box. Attaches to the camera where the flash would normally be. It operates on the following principle: inside the monoblock there is a “trap” that captures impulses, which makes it clear to the flash: “It’s time to work.” The disadvantage is that the infrared beam must be visible to the device, like the remote control and TV. Due to inconvenience, this method is rarely used.

More practical to use is the radio synchronizer. Takes off from any place where he reachedsignal. The principle of operation is the same as that of the transmitter, but it is based on radio waves.

An extremely inconvenient way for a photographer is a sync cable. Since the light source and the camera are connected by a wire that will constantly get under the feet of the master.

Having decided on the synchronization, you need to set up the flash. It switches to manual mode. The power is decreasing. We do the same with the camera. The exposure of the frame is determined by the histogram or flash meter.

studio light set


There are often disputes between photographers about which studio light to use. Reviews are different. It is necessary to experiment. To create a high-quality picture, several sources are often enough. It will be useful to understand each. Only experience and knowledge will help you choose the right studio light for a particular case.

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