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Using Your Studio Like a Pro: Build It From Scratch, Then Take It Up a Notch.

Scott Kelby teaches you everything you need to know to build your own photography studio from scratch, including details on lighting, positioning, backgrounds, and tips on lighting subjects as diverse as large groups and athletes.
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Back in part 2 of this book series, I showed you how, using just a simple, thin piece of plastic that fits easily in your wallet, you can completely and fully outfit a one-light studio from scratch. Well, after I wrote that chapter, people who read it wrote me and asked some really thought-provoking and soul-searching questions like, “What if we want to use two lights?” or “What if we want to add a second light?” and even “What if we have one light, but think we might need another?” I’m not gonna lie to you. I was pretty freaked out. I thought we covered so much in part 2 that there was no way anyone would want to learn more, so when I originally wrote the outline for part 3, not only did I not have a chapter on more studio techniques, I specifically didn’t mention the word studio, or techniques, or use any words with either an “s” or “t” in them, just in case. But then I realized writing a book without an “s” or “t” in it would preclude me from using my first name, and if that happened, I wouldn’t be able to refer to myself in the third person (like, “Scott doesn’t want to share more studio techniques” or “Scott made bail”). So, I really had to revisit the whole concept with a fresh set of eyes, and once I did, I realized that not only would I have to include a studio chapter that picked up where part 2 left off, but I would actually have to rebuild my original studio from scratch, because after part 2 was complete, and the chapter was done, I built a huge bonfire and destroyed all my gear. That’s how “done” I thought I was with studio techniques, but apparently, that’s not the case. Scott doesn’t like to have to rebuild everything. Scott doesn’t like to pull out the thin piece of plastic from his wallet. Scott needs a second job.

Using Studio Flash (Called Strobes)

A lot of people are intimidated by studio lighting, thinking it’s complicated or too technical for them, but in reality, most studio lights are just bigger versions of the hot shoe flash you’re already used to using off-camera (in fact, they are flashes, but in the industry they’re usually called “studio strobes” or just “strobes”). The main differences between hot shoe flashes (like a Nikon Speedlight or a Canon Speedlite) and studio strobes are: (1) studio strobes usually plug into the wall rather than running on batteries; (2) studio strobes are much more powerful (they put out a lot more light) than the hot shoe flashes; (3) they have a modeling light; (4) they’re designed to have lighting accessories, like softboxes, attached right to the front of them; and, (5) since they’re designed to be mounted on top of a light stand, they have a light stand mount right on the bottom of the strobe itself (to mount a hot shoe flash on a light stand, you usually will need some sort of separate adapter or swivel head).

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