Studio photography is used to shoot a variety of subjects, including people, animals, and a variety of products, from cars to jewelry. A photography studio usually starts with a blank space, which means just an empty room. The photographer will then develop the background and decide what to include and exclude in the photo, such as the costumes of models and props.
The main difference between studio and location photography is that studio photographers can control all aspects of photo shooting. When shooting outside, you can shoot indoors or outdoors. When shooting outdoors, the photographer must deal with wind, rain and changing light conditions. When shooting indoors, the photographer may have to face imperfect lighting and distracting background objects.
When shooting on location, the photographer must bring some elements of the “studio” to the location. Although this helps to create a more professional atmosphere for the location, it is almost impossible to set up location shots that match the ideal conditions in a properly set up studio. However, when shooting in a controlled environment in a studio, the photographer has ultimate control over all aspects of creating the perfect photo, including setting the ideal lighting scheme.
Studio photography will use different types of various backgrounds. These will include simple monochrome backgrounds for portrait shooting and complex backgrounds that simulate outdoor scenes (such as beaches or busy streets) to make it look like they were shot on the spot. Models’ professional costumes and props are often used. The props can be costumes of any specific period or a pair of reading glasses.
Lighting is the lifeblood of good studio photography, no matter how good models, costumes and props can make up for the lack of lighting. Lighting needs can vary greatly, depending on the type of camera, whether the medium is film or digital, the size and type of the subject, the skin tone of the model, the color of the clothing, and whether the shooting is a portrait or still photo. Life or professional fashion shooting.
In studio photography, the position and color of the lighting are critical to achieving the desired look. In some cases, the photographer may want to make dramatic shots with strategic placement of shadows, while for other shots, such as shooting products such as diamond rings for advertising campaigns, the photographer will arrange the lighting so there are no shadows at all.
The cost of professional studio shooting can range from a few pounds for a simple portrait to tens of thousands of pounds for a high-tech advertising campaign. The high prices of some photographic works cannot be achieved overnight. If you want to truly understand today’s photo studio photography, you must understand its history.
The history of studio photography
The history of studio photography can be traced back to the 19th century. Since the first photo was taken in 1824 using all natural materials, photography technology has been constantly evolving. Today’s modern digital SLR cameras can capture sharp images without film, which can be a bit difficult to believe that the first studio photographers must carefully combine chemicals in precise amounts for each exposure.
The earliest studio photography could only produce black and white images. Capturing today’s crystal-clear images in spectacular colors without film is as incredible to them as flying from New York to California in a few hours for the Wright brothers.
With the advancement of equipment, technology, and techniques, studio photography began to dominate because it became easier to produce high-quality images indoors. The first commercial studio photography was portraits. By the 1940s, studio photography almost completely replaced portrait painting because the photography process was much simpler and took much less time. However, it is worth noting that the first studio still portrait was taken in 1826 and required eight hours of exposure time!
Advances in lighting technology
There is no doubt that one of the greatest advancements in studio photography is lighting, but the history of studio photography has been around for some time before studio photography lighting became available. The earliest studio lighting borrowed from the lighting techniques used by painters, which is the origin of the term “fine art photography”.
In the early days of studio photography, photographers used open windows as the main light source. Most painters’ studios use large north-facing windows or skylights to illuminate their subjects. This is deliberately designed to take advantage of the most indirect and dispersed natural light source. In this way, the light does not directly hit the subject, effectively muting the light and giving the subject a softer appearance. Many of the best studio photographers still use this natural lighting technique today.
Studio photographers started using artificial lighting for photography in 1840 and tried many different techniques to meet the challenge of properly illuminating the subject in the studio. However, many of these early technologies were very expensive and not completely safe.
Flash powder is one of the earliest methods of producing artificial lighting of sufficient brightness. Another early type of flash is often called “hot light” and has a very real risk of explosion! By the 1860s, better and safer lights were commonly used for studio photography. About 100 years later, in the 1970s, strobe lights or “flash lights” became commonplace.
The first time generally considered “flash” photography dates back to the early 1800s, when spotlights were used to photograph microscopic objects. This type of flash photography is likely to be inspired by the theater, which uses spotlights to illuminate the stage work. By adding a large piece of lime to a flame fueled by oxygen and hydrogen, flashes are produced. However, this technique did not produce very good results when taking photos. The light in the photos was dazzling and the skin tones were overexposed.
Flash powder was invented in 1887, and its main component is magnesium, which can produce bright white light. Later, magnesium wire replaced powder, and when used with reflectors, it created the ideal source of artificial studio lighting. However, just like the limelight, magnesium has its own problems.
Magnesium can be somewhat unpredictable and uncontrollable. Sometimes the wire will not ignite and the ignition speed will change, so it is difficult to predict the exposure time. Burning magnesium wire also produces ash and toxic fumes, which is a big problem for studio photography.
In 1887, Johannes Gaedicke and Adolf Miethe began to combine magnesium powder and potassium chlorate to create a new type of glitter. The bright flash that can create an instant flash means that studio photographers can now take pictures in very dark conditions. However, because this new powder is actually an explosive, accidents are not uncommon. Sadly, when mixing a batch of powder, more than a few photographers met their end.
The introduction of the flash did not start from the studio, but from the underwater photography. Louis Boutan, the world’s first underwater photographer, proposed the concept of putting magnesium powder in a tank. Soon thereafter, the German Hauser Company manufactured the first real flash bulb in 1929, replacing the magnesium wire with aluminum foil on fire from an electronic battery.
The new technology produces strong, soft and diffuse light, providing photographers with lighting technology that will truly revolutionize studio photography. These new strobe bulbs are the first truly safe method of artificial lighting that neither cause explosions nor smoke, and become recognized light sources of all types in indoor photography.
These new flash bulbs enable studio photographers to set precise shutter speeds without having to manually open and close the camera’s shutter. This was the beginning of the era of camera flashes, and finally created a technology that allowed large-scale studio photography lights to flash simultaneously. Soon after the invention of the flash, mass-market cameras began to be available to the public.
Only a few years after the advent of the flash, the invention of the first electronic flash in 1931 once again revolutionized the way photos were taken in the studio.
American photographer and electronic engineer Harold Edgerton invented the first reusable flashlight called the “strobe”. Edgerton’s invention excites the gas by connecting a bulb containing mercury gas to the battery and produces a short but very bright flash. This flash is easy to control by increasing or decreasing the charging time, allowing the photographer to control the duration of the flash.
The new flash can be set to as short as 10 microseconds, allowing photographers to capture things as quickly as a bullet in flight. The battery allows the flash to be charged, making Edgerton’s stroboscope the first reusable flash. The mercury gas was later replaced by xenon, allowing the use of smaller flash devices. Although stroboscopic was not widely used until the late 1970s, Edgerton’s stroboscope was the basis of the technology still used in today’s studio electronic flashes.
Camera exposure control
With the advancement of lighting and film, studio photography needs to create a way to shorten the exposure time, because it is no longer practical to use only lens caps or blackout curtains to control exposure. In order to adapt to the faster exposure time, studio photographers began to work on designing a mechanism to control the film exposure time.
The adjustable shutter of the first camera allowed exposure times from 1/100 to 1/1000 seconds. With this progress, studio photographers quickly realized the need to assess the intensity of light. This led to the birth of the light meter, which quickly became an indispensable tool in studio photography. Using a light meter, studio photographers can accurately determine the intensity of light and adjust the exposure time of each photo accordingly