Intro to Studio Lighting Diagrams

This weekend I taught an "Introduction to Studio Lighting and Posing" class at the Photo Connection of Colchester, CT. It was among several classes I taught this weekend including "Introduction to Portrait Retouching", "Creativity Morning, Noon and Night", "Raindrop Reflections" and "Organization in the Digital Age". They typically bring me to their store about two times each year to teach on a variety of topics and its always a GREAT time. Not only are the store owners extremely sweet and nice and professional... but the students are always very enthusiastic and eager to learn.

During the demonstration (Saturday 1pm-5pm) I shot tethered (connected to my MacBook Pro) using Lightroom 3 's tethered capture mode, so that the images I was shooting during demo would appear on the projection screen for all to see. Here are some of the sample diagrams from my basic lighting setups. For this demo Westcott Lighting provided the lighting including three 400 Watt strobes, barn doors, and softbox.

For this blog post I will provide diagrams, and in subsequent posts I'll include a little behind-the-scenes video and some other images resulting from the class.

I think that there are a variety of great setups that can be achieved using just 1 or 2 lights, and these images illustrate some basic setups.

Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Paramount Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Paramount Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Loop Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Loop Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Fill Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Fill Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Background Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Background Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Kicker Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Rembrandt with Kicker Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Split Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Split Lighting: By Lindsay Adler 
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Back 45, Short Rembrandt Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Back 45, Short Rembrandt Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Softbox with Kicker Light: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Softbox with Kicker Light: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Softbox with Background Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
Intro to Lighting Diagrams: Softbox with Background Light Lighting: By Lindsay Adler
  • http://blog.trushots.com Trudy

    This is frickin’ fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the diagrams posted next to the photographs. That makes much more sense. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  • http://www.WilliamBert.com Bill

    I been doing this for a few years. I got the idea from a thread I saw in Model Mayhem forum. Someone on Model Mayhem forum created a Photoshop file that was full of differnet type of lights and backdrops each on a seperate layer you can turn on and off, move lights around in Photoshop to make creating lighting diagrams easy. Sorry I wish I knew where you can find it on MM.

    Another thing I do is write down the f stop of the lights, the background, distance of the model to the lights and other things I did on trhe shoot. For example a cheeze cloth over the beauty dish.

    A clothing designers gave me this idea he got from a fashion photographer he worked with. Write down all the studio sets used on a shoot in a book and refer to for lighting ideas.

    So that is what I do. Make a diagram of the lighting used on paper. Write everything down all the details everything I used. When the shoot is over go into Photoshop can create a diagram like Lindsay does. Print it and file it away in a binder with clear sleeves. It does not have to be my the lighting I used from my shoot. There are many times the diagrams could be another photographer’s lighting setup, make a diagram and file it away for some ideas.

    I like to think of my lighting book as my lighting tear sheets that I go back to for some ideas.

    Bill

  • http://ddrobney.smugmug.com Dot

    The workshops in Colchester were fabulous, Lindsay. Mark and I had such fun and learned so much! And now to have these diagrams, just brings it all back…and now we need to get some lights and begin practicing!! 😉 Hope to see you in CT, again, soon! Dot

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  • http://acpgallery.wordpress.com Amy Carson

    What a fantastic post – awesome!

  • http://olivia-lorraine.com Olivia

    This was VERY helpful! Thanks!

  • TTK

    Thanks for this page. Very nice and helpful!

  • http://www.twitter.com/friedom John

    Thank you so much for posting this! A friend has allowed me the opportunity to use her studio to do some portrait photography of my own. I was happy with the results but really wanted to explore more lighting options/placements and this is a really good starting point :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedom/6285398172/ John Friedman

    Just wanted to follow up. I did a maternity photo shoot and got some really great shots. My favorite:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedom/6285398172/

    Without coming to this site, I probably wouldn’t have even attempted it.

  • http://www.daysofyouandme.com Jessica

    Thank you! This is great!

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  • Johnd190

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! dadfggffgbee