Studio Lighting in Photography

It’s no secret that without proper lighting, getting the perfect shot is near impossible. Lighting expert Joey Quintero has taken the time to conduct a masterclass on studio lighting. The course covers everything you need to know to confidently light your subject, starting with the basics and continuing right into some more advanced techniques. As photographers, we know how much information that entails. Hopefully, the knowledge gained will help make up for the long lecture. This class is two hours in length, so feel free to bookmark this page and refer back to it as time allows:

Albeit long, the video is rather enthralling. Quintero delivers all the facts in an easy to understand and interesting fashion. Here are some key points from the course:

  • Know the “Big 3” forwards and back. Aperture, shutter, and ISO are to be considered the foundations to good photographs.
  • Have a thorough understanding of lighting ratios. For example, if you want the background to be lit twice as bright as the subject, your lighting ration is 2:1—or twice the light. Since you know that one f-stop equals twice the light, you know to set your lighting one f-stop above your camera’s f-stop.
  • When in doubt, reach for the reflector. Having too much equipment can be just as crippling as not enough when you’re shooting in sunlight. If you find yourself debating over what lighting accessory to use, grab a reflector. It will give instant results and allow you to fully utilize available light.
  • When purchasing gear, buy equipment that will outlast your camera and computer. Quintero explains he has been using the same light meter since he was in 11th grade.
  • Demonstrations of different light setups.  You’ll have to at least skim through the video to fully utilize this, but it’s full of demos on how to set up lighting and when to use each scenario. This is easily understood thanks to Quintero’s slides and example photographs.
  • Know how umbrellas, reflectors, and other gear works. Again, you’ll have to watch the video for the full effect as Quintero once again gives hands-on demonstrations on the intricacies of lighting accessories. It’s well worth a look, even if you think you’ve mastered the skill already; there may just be something you didn’t know.
studio lighting setup

Diagram of a Continuous 1 Light Set-up with Reflector

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2 responses to “Studio Lighting in Photography”

  1. Sascha Vogt says:

    Thank you for the great lesson!

    At 1:45 you struggle a litte to explain your point. Maybe another approach would work better….

    The strobe throws somewhat 1000 units of light on the subject and about 10 will find their way onto the sensor of the camera. No matter if the shutter is open for 1 minute, 1 second or 1/250. In the meantime the sun constantly throws millions of light units in the background, but we just want – lets say 50. Shutterspeed allows us to contoll how much of those reflected light we get from the background, but we will allways get just a perfect 10 from the subject.

    Maybe this might help you in your next class.

    Thanks again and ‘Servus’ from Vienna


  2. Vinny Ciro says:

    Great Video. Thank you very much. One suggestion to make it even better: have another microphone perhaps in the center of the room to pick up the person asking the questions. It would add a lot.

    Again, sincere thanks for this video and others.

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