Home Studio Photography - part II

 

Last week we took our first steps towards expanding your knowledge of home studio photography. Avoiding the extortionate costs of a high street studio is now easier than ever with a proliferation of quality instruction and gear at affordable prices. This week we'll dive a little deeper into the benefits of studio strobes and look at the other gear you'll need to get up and running.

 

Further benefits of studio strobes

 

Last week we talked about the power advantage of studio strobes. Knowing that you can shoot at base ISO and your lights are going to recycle quickly allows you to concentrate on your subject with the knowledge that, if you do everything else right, the results will be well exposed with great image quality. But what about sculpting the light? Will the shoot through umbrella we used for our headshots work? Another of the key benefits of more power is that you can use cooler modifiers! Let's take a look...

 

Control and sculpt that light...

 

The key to great photography is twofold: great subject engagement and great light. The advantage of a studio environment is that you have total control over your light, which should allow you to concentrate on your subject. Having more power, studio strobes give you options like you've never had before. The shoot through umbrella does have a place, but in a confined space like a home studio you'll find that you cannot control the light that efficiently because nearly as much light bounces out of the back of the brolly as the front.

 

Controlling light spill is vital to shooting in a small space.

 

Yes, you'll soon find out that light spill's highly undesirable as it cuts down contrast and adds colour casts from whatever it bounces off of (light picks up colour!). This is where softboxes in their many guises come in - because the strobe's inside the softbox with only one possible route for the light to escape, you have much more control.

 

Next week we'll take a look at some of the options for softbox and strobe combinations and recommend specific products based on our years of experience. We'll explore whether it pays to splash the cash or if you can get away with cheaper products... you might be surprised at some of the answers!