Pro Lighting Tips to Make Your Scenes Look Pro


Pro Lighting Tips to Make Your Scenes Look Pro

Lighting is a crucial element for any scene, but it can be difficult to get right. Thankfully, there are some simple tricks to make your scenes look pro.

The key light with a snoot, diffused fill via coffee filter, and low backlight are essential elements to have in any shot.


Fluorescent lighting is a mainstay in many commercial settings, prized for its energy efficiency and long bulb life. This pro lighting option can offer a wide range of color temperatures, wattages and fixture styles to suit your needs. Choose from tube lights that accommodate two to eight fluorescent tubes, or opt for a bulb fixture or bank that accepts common threaded light bulbs. Both options mount easily on a light stand or truss, and they work well with softboxes and other lighting modifiers.

The most common fluorescent options give off a soft, warm light that works well for portrait photography and product images. For more dramatic images, go for a high CRI option that produces a more accurate representation of natural colors. These types of fluorescents are also available in cool temperature options that create a stark white light ideal for architectural and commercial applications.

One disadvantage of fluorescent lights is their use of mercury, a toxic chemical that can be poisonous if ingested or inhaled. This presents a safety issue when a bulb is broken, and it requires pro lighting special disposal separate from regular household waste. Older fluorescents can also have a long warm-up period before reaching their full light output, and they sometimes emit a noticeable buzz or humming noise. However, these issues are minimized with newer models.


An LED, or light-emitting diode, is a semiconductor that emits photons when current flows through it. Different LEDs use different materials to produce photons, and these different colors can be mixed together to create a variety of light colors. An electrical current passes through an LED, pushing the atoms of its n-type and p-type materials toward each other. The n-type atoms donate their extra electrons to the p-type atoms, filling holes and releasing energy in the form of photons. These photons have a wavelength in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum and appear as light.

LEDs are more expensive than some other pro lighting technologies, but they’re also very durable and can last a long time. Their higher upfront cost is offset by lower maintenance and power costs, creating a quicker payback than some other pro lighting options.

The datasheet for an LED also provides other information that can be helpful to a professional installer, such as its reverse voltage, which is the maximum value at which it will stop flowing (also known as the peak inverse voltage), and its power dissipation, which is the amount of power in milliWatts that can be safely drawn through it before it will start taking damage. It also contains a handy mechanical drawing that gives you all the measurements you’ll need to mount an LED in a panel, including its small flange at the bottom that makes it easy to keep from falling through a hole too far.

Natural Light

Natural light is a preferred choice for many photographers, especially those who are just starting out or do not pro lighting have the budget to purchase lighting equipment. It is also a great option for product photography, as it can create a soft and authentic glow that reflects true colors and textures of the products.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the quality of natural light can vary depending on weather conditions and even the time of day. This is why it’s crucial to plan accordingly and use tools like reflectors and diffusers to modify the quality of natural light.

Additionally, when shooting with natural light, it is essential to pay attention to the direction of the sun. For example, natural light that hits a subject at midday will usually be directed downward, which can be unflattering. This is why it’s crucial to shoot closer to sunrise or sunset to make the most of natural light.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual photographer to decide whether or not to utilize professional lighting or natural light for their specific needs and creative vision. However, a general understanding of how to work with natural light will help any photographer improve their compositional skills and overall photographic quality. In addition, current NYIP students and graduates can take advantage of our private Adorama shopping portal for lighting equipment at a significant discount.

Environment Friendly

With the world’s climate change becoming a real issue, there is an increased emphasis on sustainability and using eco-friendly products. This includes lighting solutions that use environmentally friendly bulbs. Using non-renewable sources of energy for power generation leads to them depleting faster than they can be replaced. This is a concern for the entire world and therefore there is a move towards using natural resources that don’t deplete as quickly as fossil fuels do.

Getting pro lighting that uses environmentally friendly bulbs means that you’re saving money and reducing your environmental impact at the same time. Look for bulbs that are ENERGY STAR certified to ensure they meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s strict energy efficiency guidelines. You’ll also find that they last longer than standard bulbs, so you’ll be replacing them less often.

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