Cheat sheet: How to understand f-stops

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One of the joys of portrait photography is how dramatically you can change the way an image looks with a simple adjustment of your lighting.

If you’re working outdoors, for example, you can choose to use ambient light alone or a flash for more balance, or you can bounce natural or artificial light from a reflector to help fill in shadows. . Indoors, however, when you have complete control over all the lighting in the scene, you can push your creativity much further. And like our setups in this cheat sheet, you can do amazing things with just one light – and do wonders with two!

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Lighting Styles

When you consider the number of different types of studio lighting kits, accessories, and portable photographic backdrops, you begin to realize that the possibilities are endless.

Are you using one light or many? Where should they be in relation to your topic? Should they be modified with some accessory or just used as is? And should you light up your background as well?

Read more: Photo cheat sheet: how to understand f-stops

Click on the upper right corner to enlarge the image (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Luckily, there’s a range of tried-and-true styles you can simply adopt. Even if you only have one studio light and an accessory like a softbox or a brolly, you can go crazy with simple Rembrandt-style lighting, which features one side of the face being brightly lit and the other side more in the dark. .

Add another light to the mix, and maybe another accessory as well, and you can try out a few more styles. You can go for virtually shadow-free results by positioning the lights in specific positions, or you can light up the background to make your subject stand out in a different way. You might even want to add a few colored gels to create something unconventional.

Click the upper right corner of the sheet below to get it in high resolution – and be sure to bookmark us and come back for more great photo cheat sheets!

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