Shop Light Photography

HI Guys, I just did this entire session with about $20 worth of lighting. Here’s the deal – I’ve have been getting a lot of e-mail’s from newer photographers saying things like.. if I only had all the equipment you had etc… I could produce the same results. This got me thinking (which is very scary) that I should do an entire session with very basic lighting or possibly even my pocket camera to prove that it’s not just the equipment, but the the understanding of how to use the equipment and how to “see light”. Maybe I will do my next session with my iphone, or my Canon G10.

Here’s one of the images from the shoot. Let me know what you think and give me some feedback as to what you would like me to blog about next.


Here’s a pull back shot from the entire session. One shop light overhead on boom as the main light, one down low to fill in the shadows, and one on boom as the hair light. The black thing in front is the fan I used to blow her hair to create some movement in the image.




Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, 1/200 sec @ f2.8., 70mm – 200mm lens, ISO 800.

Keep shooting… Mike


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18 thoughts on “Shop Light Photography

  1. But what I want to know is how do you get the shop lights to stay on the boom and light stands? They won’t have the parts to attach them with.

  2. I love the article, I have used tungsten lighting in a very small studio (spare bedroom) and i don’t seem to get images tack sharp like the ones above (I do use a tripod and use wireless remote to avoid camera shakes). I have a AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II and a
    AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G. I shoot with a Nikon D40. Do I need a faster lenses to help, because I really like your example. The shutter speed I get a shudder speed sometimes of 1/30 and under. Do I need to just have a faster shutter speed, increase the iso etc.

    Thanks for any help

    • Have you tried using mirror lock if your camera has it? This will reduce shudder even more. However, these sort of images are not usually shot at such slow shutter speeds, so this alone might be the source of your problem.

  3. As Tom mentioned, locking up the mirror will definitely help. I also find using a shutter release helps a lot when shooting at very slow shutter speeds.