The painting, Sharon Homestead, Innisfree Alberta, by Josie Sharon-Stasiuk was photographed using "soft" light. The camera was manually white balanced (WB) for color accuracy.
"Soft Light", is light that is diffused or indirect. The source can be outside in the shade, indoors, using a nylon curtain in the window as a diffuser, or use a "lightbox." Diffusers reduce/eliminate hotspots and specular reflections. If you use a "flash", you can diffuse the light and/or bounce the light off a wall or a reflector.
A DIY Light Kit
We now have new lighting technology, the LED lamp. The advantage is that they use low wattage (3 to 15 watts) and as a result are not "hot" to the touch and will not burn or melt diffusers. Their Color temperature is either 2700K warm (yellow) or 5000K cool (blue). And the color accuracy is very high. The continuos spectrum of led floods ranges from CRI = 80+ (low) up to CRI = 93+ where 100 is a 100% continuos spectrum.
White Balance the Camera
The key that ensures that the camera captures accurate colors! Any camera can be white balanced, here's how...
- Reasons to use Soft lighting
- reduce image processing time
- Eliminate shadows and hot spots (Spectral reflections).
- In a portraits, to evenly illuminate faces and control shadows.
- Add a sparkle to the eyes!
- A Key light to separate the subject from the background
- Colored LED's to create a background.
A DIY Lightbox
DIY parts list and instructions for a lightbox / tent
- If you can move the subject away from the wall or from the cyclorama you will reduce shadow issues in the background
- Start with ambient light (take a photo)
Then Try one of these basic One Light Variations
1. The Butterfly
- The camera is aimed directly at the subject
- light is behind and above the camera and subject
2. The Loop
- place the light 35 degrees from the camera
3. The Split
- place the light 90 degrees from the camera (to one side of the subject.)
4. The Rembrandt
- Place the key light 35 degrees from the camera
- Add a new light source, a reflector
on the other side of the camera.
- The relector's surface can be white paper, aluminum, gold, white cloth, etc.
- The subject should be turned to face between the Camera and the main (key) light
Other lights to add, A hair light and a background light
- The hair light should just light the hair from above the subject
- The background light should be behind the subject, on the floor and aimed up the background.
The more lights you add, lighting difficulties will multiply
"Making a picture that's technically what you want is where photography begins, not where it ends."
--Michael C. Johnston.