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Studio Lighting

Studio lighting generally refers to the level and type of lighting in a television or photography studio. Studio lighting in a television studio is varied and is always planned relative to camera angles. The studio lighting in a television studio exists to make the events readable by the cameras as well as to make what the camera is capturing interesting.

Photography Studio Lighting

Photography studio lighting can usually fall into two main categories:

  • Constant-source lights - like an incandescent electric lamp, it sends an electric current to heat a filament inside a glass filled bulb, causing the bulb to glow
  • Flash lights - electronic discharge devices such as an electric flash bulb, where a high voltage charge is sent through a gas filled tube, causing the gasses to glow very brightly for a very brief duration.

Studio Lighting Set Up Tips

When setting up studio lighting, the main issue to address is consistency, as inconsistencies in the lighting will affect all images on film. Light ratio, the amount of light that is illuminating one side of a subject compared to the amount of light illuminating the other side, is an important factor in studio lighting consistency.

For example, a light ratio of 2:1 would mean that twice the amount of light falls on one side of the object than the other. A light meter is also an important tool when setting studio lighting. A light meter measures the intensity of light in an area and determines proper exposure. Handheld ambient light meters are the most often used tool when measuring the light falling on a subject or object in a photo, as well as on a television studio stage.

Studio Lighting Options

Studio lighting can be complex with the use of fill lights, back lights, and floods, or as simple as placing the subject of a photo in front of an open window in order to utilize natural lighting. The simplest electric studio lighting can be easily set up as a single light. The subject s placed on the edge of a chair or stool, and the constant source light is set either in front of or slightly to the side of the subject.

When using two lights, the second source may be set equidistance from the subject, but set at a 45-degree angle. Studio lighting can also be made softer, as in the appearance of an overcast day. The light source can be bounced off of a large white sheet or large piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil in order to soften and even out shadows as needed.