Photography Lighting Equipment:
Lighting is everything in the photography profession. The aim of working with lightening equipment is to empower ourselves to bind our knowledge and creativity to produce results, we intend to produce. The use of the right equipment for light will have some powerful impact on your photography. In this guide I will tell you about different types of basic photography lighting equipment, to enhance your knowledge and photography skills.
The basic lighting equipment can be categorized into three basic categories: the source of light itself, modifiers and stands/grips.
Flashes And On-Camera Lighting:
There are two types of flashes: on-camera flash and off-camera flash. Both of these types have their pros and cons. Let’s examine the on-camera flash, it is useful for the limited range of photography and you can adjust the camera angle.
The off-camera flash also known as the flash head is adjustable and portable. It is especially useful when your photo subject is too near and the background is pitching black. Because of the adjustment feature of the off-camera flash, you can beautifully capture the things that are overexposed like people’s features, high cheek bones, nose etc.
Head & power pack and Mono light:
A head and power pack are consisting of the flash head and a small power pack that serves as the generator, supply the power to the flash head. The flash head contains the flash tubes and once the flash head is supplied with the high voltage power, it releases light. The power pack has all the control in one place which makes it easier to change the settings of multiple flash heads. There are two types of power packs.
Symmetric power pack:
The symmetric power pack distributes the power equally between multiple flash heads.
Asymmetric power pack:
The asymmetric power pack lets the handler diverge the power supply into different flash heads.
On the other hand, mono light gives the best compact substitute for power pack and flash head combination. Mono lights are portable but because of their size, their power is limited. The controls of mono lights inbuilt inside the light which means you have to separately adjust the setting of multiple mono lights.
A strobe light is a device used to emit regular flashes of light or that produces short and intense flashes of light in rapid sequence. A strobe can be placed anywhere you want to and you can add the light from everywhere like under, over, right or left. A strobe light gives softer and real impact to the image which makes it more tolerable.
Fluorescent light is used to balance the spectrum of colors in photography. They are cheap and come in many sizes and shapes. They are very energy efficient. The fluorescent light can be used to balance the daylight but do not use both together.
Light umbrellas are categorized as light modifiers because; they enhance the light by spreading it. Due to large size reflecting surface of the light umbrellas, they produce the dim and soft light. They are fixed in the way that the strobe light is facing away from the subject. The light umbrella comes in the silver lining, white and gold lining. Silver-lined umbrellas are most efficient because it can narrow the focus light than the other types.
Unlike the lighting umbrellas, soft boxes come in square and rectangular form. The soft boxes are also categorized as light modifiers. The soft boxes are attached to the front of strobe over the light source. They come in various shapes and sizes. Soft boxes are reflective inside and they have the translucent front. The spread of light in the soft box is more contained and it is more controllable than the umbrellas.
A snoot is a tool that narrows down the distribution of light. They are of conical shape, that’s why they produce more focused, and harsh light. Snoots are used like the spot light and also to lighten the background of the photography subject.
Barn doors are shaped like flaps and used to cover the strobe lights. Barn doors can be opened and closed easily to control the light and stop the light from spilling. They don’t produce well centered and concentrated light as snoot but they come in very handy form depending upon the need of users.
Basically, the honeycomb metallic shaped grids that are used to direct the light for the more focused range. The main benefit of honeycomb grid is that they offer different light angles. To get more focused light, use the smaller grid cells with tighter holes.
Usually, light stands and grips are being used for the support of the light sources, modifiers, strobes, and backdrops. Light stands have main two types and these stands types vary in sizes, lengths, and prices.
Light weighted stands:
The length and height of light weighted stands can easily be adjusted. But the main problem with light weighted stand is an air shock. An air shock will destabilize the lights and disturb your light angle. To stabilize your light better and protect the light from falling, sandbags can be attached to the stand to weigh the stand. Light weighted stands are frequently used in still photography due to their lengths and heights are adjustable.
C-stands surely cost more than light weighted stands but they are very good. C-stands weigh heavy and are very stable. The main advantage of C-stand is that they don’t have air shocks and provide the great stability while shooting outdoor in windy situations. C-stands are very supportive of holding the backgrounds and white-papers used in addition to lights. It is mostly used in video industry because of their stability and durability.
Here at the end of our journey of photography lighting equipment, we have learned about some basic light equipment’s that will transform your photography. My final advice will be to get the photography equipment that offers the wide range of accessories. It is because, with the help of lighting equipment accessories, you can expand your lighting setup without spending a lot.