Investing on a studio flash strobe kit is the next probable step for photographers who wish to bring their craft to the next level. Much about photography is how much a person knows about their light source.
You need to know more than just which brand might be best for your lighting needs. You also need to know how to manipulate the lighting to make the set have the atmosphere that the photographer has in mind. Of course daylight is usually the best light, but not if you're trying to mimic a particular mood.
Cost is also a consideration. Dramatic scenes can be cast with either continuous lighting or a studio flash strobe. Continuous lighting uses lots of electricity, and the bulbs tend to overheat and burn out very quickly. Strobes, although more expensive up front, will ultimately cost less over their lifetime.
A basic Studio flash strobe lighting kit would be made up of two strobe lights with their own tall light stands, a shorter light stand, varied reflectors, soft boxes and an umbrella. The shorter light stand is often used for smaller subjects or as a stand for the light source dedicated for the background.
The two tall light stands will usually hold the strobe lights. The photographer will adjust the height and direction to direct the light to add a depth of field to the photo. One light will typically be used as a fill light, while the other will be the main light on the subject.
Controlling light is also for achieving the mood they want. Soft boxes are used to soften the light that touches the subject. In portraiture, hard shadows are often considered distracting in a photo. The umbrella as well as the reflectors is used for directing or controlling the light in a studio or in an outdoor shoot.
Depending on the mood desired, the photographer can use an umbrella or reflector made out of different materials. For flattering portraiture, a gold reflector will often be used, as they cast a warm and richer tone on the subject's skin tone.
In order to create a surreal atmosphere using a combination of light and shadows, a silver or aluminum reflector can be used. One side of the reflector may be coated with black. This can be used to block or trap the light that's being reflected from the light source or the walls, or surrounding surfaces.
Most studio light kits also have a carry bag that you can store all of these items in. Typically each component in a studio lighting kit is collapsible and can be easily transported to your location shoots.
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