shooting exceptional photos with strobe lights
The studio has a set of Neewer C-300 strobe lights and a Canon Rebel T5 with 50mm lens to take pictures for both the blog and for portfolio pictures. The benefit of the strobe lights is that they are bright enough you will not need a tripod to take exceptional photographs. There is a small white plastic backdrop as well as a larger black cloth backdrop.
The camera needs to be in manual mode (M) with an ISO speed of 100, a shutter speed of 1/200 and the F-Stop at between F-18-22 to adjust for lighting. If your exposure is only halfway exposed, this is because either your shutter speed or your ISO speed is off. Unfortunately, this does mean that if you cannot increase the shutter speed so you can use a very open aperture (to get a blurry background known as bokeh), you cannot do this (unless we had a set of ND filters…which we don’t have yet).
Be sure the Neewer transmitter is mounted to the flash shoe on the camera. Turn both strobe lights to on, and you are ready to shoot! All should be ready to go, but here are some trouble shooting tips. Make sure the receiver that is dangling from one of the lights is set to on. If both lights are on, but the one without the receiver is not firing, make sure it is switched to “slave”. If this still is not working, make sure the four switches on the transmitter and receiver are in the same positions. Lastly, if this is not working, likely the AAA batteries in the receiver need to be replaced.
What is amazing with the strobe lights is how a simple even dirty corner in the studio can yield exceptional photography. There is a white plastic background and a large black cloth background. Note the color of the background will effect your exposure setting, as the white reflects light and the black absorbs light. Even with the many wrinkles in the cloth background, with the right exposure you should get a solid black background. If you are not convinced this hassle is worth it, compare the following images below shot with an iPhone and with this set-up.
Post-Processing: JPG vs RAW
Although the blog needs a screen resolution JPEG, you will want higher resolution photos for your portfolio. I highly encourage you to shoot in RAW using Photoshop or Lightroom (preferred) or even Apple Photos for any post-processing and then export to the resolution and file format desired. When you turn the camera on, the file shooting mode should show in the lower right. You adjust this setting by pressing Menu, and Image Quality