Lighting is such an important part of blogging/taking photographs for your blog. With the days getting shorter and the nights longer and living in the wilderness of the north I know that soon enough I wont be able to take decent blog photos in the evening when I get home from work (around 5:45 ish). In fact already I've started to struggle when its been a dull or rainy day and unless I get straight in the spare room and take photos then it just doesn't happen.
So I invested in some soft box lighting. This is a pricey step and not something most people have the money or room for. Thankfully I could afford to buy a set and also I have the room to store them. I bought the RPGT® Photography Softbox Studio Continuous Lighting Kit with 2x125W 5500K Bulbs 50 x70 cm which come with 2m Stands from Amazon. I bought these with my own money and just did a bit of research before and thankfully I did lots of lighting during my film degree so I knew what I was looking for - ish. At less than £60 I thought these weren't too bad on the bank balance either. Now in the photo of one in my room and also on the website these look massive but really they fold down to a very small size and I can store these easily along with my tripod and other bits and pieces.
Now for the with and without lighting photos. The photos everyone wants to see.
As you can see with the natural light there are shadows, I really struggled to focus because of the lack of light and I would have to edit these a lot to get the popular blogger look for a flat lay. In the photo with the lighting its super easy to just upload photos as they are, very little effort required. My auto focus latched on in a second and well, the whole experience was just a lot nicer, quicker and simpler.
I've not tried these in the dark of night or for videos etc but I will be sure to update this post as and when I do. As for why I've only shown one of the pair in use, its mostly because I haven't needed two yet. Two will be needed when it is very dark and you need two to soften shadows and give a more natural light.
Now if buying lights isn't an option for you there here's some other tips for lighting which might come in handy.
- Natural is always best - use natural light if you can.
- Reflect light using the dull side of tin foil. This is an old film degree trick, its like one of those giant gold/silver circles (lasolite) but much cheaper.
- Use a desk lamp and some tracing paper as an alternative soft box.
- You can even use a phone (depending on the effect you want to achieve).
- If you don't get the exact lighting you want, brush up on photoshop/what ever photo editing software you have. Editing the contrast or curves of a photo can really help.
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