Top left: An interview lighting setup with the RL-48B key light on a stand high to camera right and a
RL-48B fill light with ½-stop neutral density and diffuser filters on the camera hot shoe. I had the model
remove his glasses to eliminate the ring reflection in them. Even with diffusion, the on-camera light is
not shadowless, as you can see from the background shadow. Nikon D3S, ISO 1600, 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor,
1/60 sec. at f/4.
Top right: An alternative interview lighting setup with the RL-48B key light on a stand high to camera
right and a RL-48B with a LEE 712 Bedford Blue filter for accent and background separation. Nikon D3S,
ISO 1600, 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor, 1/60 sec. at f/4.
Color balance, color effects, neutral density
and diffusion filters lower output further.
With the D3s, I did most of my shooting at
1/60 and f/2.5 to f/4 at ISO 1600.
Portrait and commercial photographers
used continuous light sources long before
electronic flash was invented, and some pho-
tographers still do. With continuous light,
you see the exact lighting of the final image;
there’s no waiting for the flash to recycle and
no flashing at all to distract your subject.
And you can buy into a compact continuous
light system for less than an on-camera flash.
The disadvantage of “hot lights”—the heat—
is eliminated with LED lights.
Stan Sholik is a commercial/advertising photographer
in Santa Ana, CA, specializing in still-life and macro photography. His latest book, Lightroom 4 FAQz, published
by Wiley Publishing, is available now.
Using the 5500K filter and setting the camera’s color temperature on 5500K produces a warmer and greener image (left) than expected. A Lightroom
adjustment is needed to bring the colors closer to neutral (right). The color temperature needs to be adjusted periodically, as it changes with battery charge.
Nikon D2X, ISO 1600, 17-70mm Sigma, 1/80 sec. at f/4.5.