Portrait lighting with only natural light

Country singer Laura Cantrell photographed for Vanity Fair
Even without any lighting equipment at all you can take amazing photos like this.

New York based photographer Mattias Olsson has taken this beautiful portrait of Laura Cantrell without any artificial light or any reflectors. The only lightsource is the window to the side of the subject. Great inspiration for all us upcoming photographers!

Fashion photography lighting without using any lighting equipment

Fashion photography without using any lighting equipment
Sometimes a window and a wall will do the job

This narrow room is not just an interesting rough looking location. It also provides good lighting possibilities, because of the short distance between the window and the wall on the other side of the room. Cecilie Harris took this photo without using any lighting equipment at all. Impressive.

So if you don’t own a lot of lighting equipment. Just smash down your toilet and you have a fully functional DIY photo studio.

Gel filter lighting setup

Gel filter lighting setup
The white balance settings are important too when using colored gel filters.

Gel filters can really change the impression of the photo. In this photo of Professor Martin J. Blaser, photographer Pontus Höök is using two different colored gel filters to get this expressive effect.

The reflections to the left is from a glass cage used for scientific research. Professor Martin J. Blaser has been researching the bacteria behind ulcers.

Sport portrait lighting setup

Sport portrait of NHL player Peter Forsberg. The sweat is real and the ice is fake.
The reflector behind Peter gives the illusion of ice, in this creative setup by Pontus Höök

This photo by Pontus Höök is taken in a hallway at Colorado Avalanche’s training facilities. Peter Forsberg came right of the rink to Pontus’ makeshift photo studio. The sweat you see is real. 22 exposures later Peter is off to the locker room. The photo is shot using analog film.

This photo was the cover photo of the first edition of the sportmagazine “S”

Portrait of Howlin’ Pelle with creative lighting setup

Howlin' Pelle in the light of a laptop
A simple and creative lighting setup

This is a very creative and playful portrait lighting setup by photographer Pontus Höök. The key light is actually from a laptop and then there’s a regular lamp used as a kicker. Great results with a minimum of lighting equipment. Since the light sources aren’t very powerful, this setup requires a lens with a large maximum aperture. In this case 1.2. The shutter speed is 1/40 and the camera is handheld. Pelle is the lead singer in The Hives and this photo is taken backstage at a concert.

Lighting setup for fashion photography

David Bicho is thinking BIG when he shoots fashon photos
A lighting diagram for fashion photography. All you need is basically a plastic wrapped building and a stripbox.

When doing bigger/wider lighting setups, the distances grow and ordinary soft boxes and such doesnt work since they become relatively small and creates harsh shadows. Then its great to use really BIG diffusors.

In this image we wrapped the whole exterior of the building in milky white plastic to get the huge windows like this. To get the correct depth of light from outside the window, the flash needs to be far away, thus demands alot of power. I think we used a twin head and two 2400Ws generators for the outside flash. Inside I had a strip light (without fabric) from the left shooting through a big diffusion screen. To the right there was a silver reflector that bounced back the light from a gridded flash. The reason why I bounced it was because I needed the extra depth of light one get when using long distances.

Product lighting setup for everyone

Impressive product photography using a minimum lighting setup.
As you can see in the lighting diagram, all you need is a flashlight for this lighting setup
This is a clever lighting method for product photography that doesn’t require much lighting equipment. A flashlight and a tripod. So it doesn’t matter if you are a professional photographer or a complete beginner, everyone can try this fantastic lighting setup. Use a 20-30 seconds shutter and then use the flashlight to paint the light on your object. Magnus Svensson definitely  masters this lighting technique as you can see above.

Glamour lighting with Helene Wiklund

Lusciuos glamour model Helene Wiklund from Sweden
Glamour lighting diagram

If you are into glamour photography and have already tried the golden umbrella thing and similar lighting setups, you can find new inspiration from Magnus Svensson here. The keylight is a large octabox, and then you kick some light from the smaller softboxes at both sides in the background. This gives you a glamour lighting with a slight touch of beauty lighting!