Table of Contents
What kind of camera is suitable?
In this article we will only be talking about digital cameras. There are many kinds of digital cameras such as point and shoot, mirrorless cameras and dslr cameras.
Point and shoot cameras are pretty much automatic cameras where you don’t have to mess around with a bunch of settings and the focus and exposure is automatic. They are small and compact in size, perfect for traveling but unfortunately not so much for Studio Photography as many of them do not have the hot shoe attachment that allows you to connect a trigger for firing our strobe lights.
Mirrorless and DSLRs are mainly what are used in Studio Photography. If your camera has a manual mode and a hot shoe mount, it is likely that it will be suitable to use in a studio setting.
How to connect Camera to Strobes
In order for the camera to communicate to the light, IE to fire when the shutter is clicked, you will need a flash trigger, also known as Transmitter and receiver.
With 1 end mounted on top of your camera hot shoe, it transmits the signal to the receiver that is connected to the light. So when the shutter is pressed, the lights will fire at the very same second.
How to use our Lights
Depending on which studio you rent, our lights have a slightly different interface, but you will only need to know what the key icons mean to get you started on your studio photography session. In the gallery below I’ve uploaded photos of our Studio lights and marked out the key icons on them. Familiarizing yourself with them would make your studio session so much smoother.
The key thing to take note is the slave button, often when it is not turned on, your secondary lights (the ones not connected to the receiver) will not flash at the same time when your shutter is clicked even though the light is turned on. You will need to ensure that the slave button is on so the lights are all able to communicate with each other.
On the base of the light is where you’d connect the Flash Sync Cable to our Pocket Wizard.
We will provide you a pair of pocket wizards, one of them will be connected to the strobe, and the other goes on top of your camera hot shoe.
Hold the Power button until the LCD screen lights up.
The numbers on the screen indicate the power of the strobe. Turn the large middle button left to decrease the power and right to increase it.
To change the modifier, look for the dial and ensure the icon shows that it is unlocked. Hold on to the modifier and turn it slightly anti clockwise to until it loosens and pull it out towards you.
To change to a new modifier, look for the circled areas in the light.
Align the modifier to the circled area and turn slightly clock wise (if you’re facing the strobe).
Once the modifier is attached, turn the dial to ensure the icon is locked before letting go of the modifier.
Studio ONE and TWO strobes have a bit more buttons and fuction to familiarise with.
Toggling the blue portion locks and unlocks the section for attaching the modifiers.
If you’re an outdoor photographer who is coming into the studio for the very first time, you will want to read this very important section. When you’re working in the studio with strobes, you will want to only use manual mode on your camera.
There are key settings to take note of such shutter speed, aperture, ISO and white balance.
Shutter Speed – Each camera has a shutter speed that corresponds to its shutter curtain. If you set your shutter speed too high, you will only see a black image or a black bar across half of your image. This is because the shutter curtain is coming down and not allowing the light through into the full sensor.
You’d want your shutter speed to be around 1/100 – 1/160.
Aperture – When you’re working in the studio and with strobes, there are strong amounts of focused light that will be flashed when the shutter is clicked. You will not be able to shoot as wide open as you’d outdoors. We recommend starting your aperture at around f/6.3 and playing around from there.
ISO – A good starting point would be 100 ISO and slowly play around with the strobes or settings.
White Balance – In general you’d want to make sure that your white balance is set to Manual/Kelvin and the range depends on if you’d want a cool, neutral or warm image.
For Neutral we recommend starting 5000-5200 (similar to sunlight) and tweaking it from there.
With these details in mind, put them to practice in a studio setting and you will find yourself successful even if it’s your first time in the studio.
If you have lightroom or capture one, it is very useful to tether your camera to your laptop so you’re able to view the images live, as they come in. You will be able to check for sharpness or any lighting issues and make adjustments on the spot.
You will need a tether cable for your camera to do so, we do have common ones available in our studio for you to use during your booking. Just approach our staff on duty that day to ask them about it!
Tear Down & Reset
At the end of your session, it is common studio etiquette to reset the studio back to its original condition so that it is ready for the next client. Do ensure that all lights are turned off and furniture/props are placed back to their original position,