studio continuous lighting

dramatic lighting effects for portrait photography  (model: Jessica Joy)

For this dramatic Hollywoord Glamor inspired portrait sequence of Jessica, I used two Litepanels Sola 4 LED fresnel lights (affiliate). But there’s more that happening here with the lighting than just the main light and the rim light. There is the splash of color in the background, augmenting the blue rim-light coming from behind.

Jessica’s reaction to the first test shot was amusing – a surprised,”where did that come from?”, when she saw the image on the back of my camera. The blue tones and the pattern in the background were an unexpected dramatic effect. It didn’t look like that until I fired the shutter.

While Jessica was finishing up her with her make-up and hair, I had set up the lights. The two  Litepanels Sola 4 LED fresnel lights (affiliate), and a Light Blaster (affiliate) with a star pattern gobo on the background. When I positioned her in the middle of the studio floor, the two fresnel lights were shining … and that’s all that it looked like at the time. But then the magic happened.

The lighting for these photographs need to be considered as two layers – the continuous light (via the LED fresnel light), and the the flash via the Light Blaster on the background. And that’s how we’ll break it down:

Learn more inside…


continuous studio lighting – Westcott Spiderlite TD5

When I undertook to do the recent webinars for the Clickin Moms forums, I knew I had to pull a couple of things together to make the webinar presentation as slick as possible. So there were a number of hardware logistics I had to take care of before-hand. The one thing that I knew I would need, was continuous light on me during the webinar. I couldn’t rely on the existing light in whichever studio I was going to broadcast from.

I have previously owned a Westcott Spiderlite kit; one with with three lights. However, when I found it under-powered when using the daylight fluorescent tubes, I sold it again shortly after. Nothing beats the amount of light that a flash unit puts out. But, I needed continuous light now. Looking at my options, I checked out the latest Westcott Spiderlite kits again. They now sport larger and brighter daylight-balanced fluorescent bulbs. The Westcott Spiderlite TD5 (vendor), that I settled on this time, puts out a total of 220W.  Or as it is now described, 220 Total Fluorecent Watts. Quite bright!  This has been updated with the Westcott Spiderlite TD6 (vendor) since.


After the we had wound down broadcasting the latest webinar, we still had use of the studio … and my favorite model, Anelisa, agreed to linger a while so that I can play with the Spiderlite and see what we can come up with.

Learn more inside…