Weekend Project – Lighting with household lamps

When I first started shooting with artificial light, I had this misconception that every professional set had a ton of strobes and expensive lighting. I quickly learned that if you were to pull the camera back on some of these shoots, you’d see a lot of gaffers tape, home made light stands, and other setups that would make MacGyver proud. Basically, you do what you have to do with what you’ve got.

What if all you have is a desk lamp?

Make it work.

This weekend, collect all your desk lamps and experiment with them. Some work better than others. Some don’t put out enough light, others look like a spotlight. If your camera allows it, switch to manual mode and try different shutter speeds and apertures.

Bonus: Try using a flashlight…

    1/50th at ƒ/4 ISO 400  This lamp doesn't put out enough light to be effective.
1/50th at ƒ/4 ISO 400  This lamp doesn’t put out enough light to be effective.
    1/50th at ƒ/4 ISO 400  This lamp is a little spotlight-ish, but puts out enough light to play with.
1/50th at ƒ/4 ISO 400  This lamp is a little spotlight-ish, but puts out enough light to play with.

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