Photography lighting kits are essential for any amateur photographer. These kits contain all of the necessary equipment and accessories to get a professional-looking finish. Most people think that this means that everything in the kit is designed for a specific purpose. This is not the case at all. Portable photography lighting kits have many uses for any level of experience and are especially useful for beginners.
The biggest mistake that most new photographers make is using standard or ‘normal’ photography lighting equipment. When you choose photography lighting equipment, it is because you need something more durable or versatile. But this can be more costly, so many new photographers often go for a less expensive lighting kit, to give them the best results possible.
There are four types of photography lighting: flash units, studio lights, reflectors, and weighted mats. Flash units are used for general ambient lighting, for general mood, and props, and the like. Studio lights tend to be used on the most critical shots, and reflectors help with fill light and darker shadows. The most versatile of these items is the weighted mat. It is ideal for both still-life and portrait photography.
Some other items include a strobe, which is a high-speed motor-driven LED. Strobe lights can also be powered by tungsten bolts, but these are not as reliable and they do produce a lot of heat, making them unsuitable for use in studio situations. A great alternative is mini panels, which sit on the back of a tripod, and which can be controlled with a switch or remote control.
These work well in both natural light or studio light, and the panels usually contain one or two C-mount flash units. This enables photographers to use a different color strobe for each session.
There are two types of photography lighting systems that are commonly used and which are often misunderstood. Location lighting can be either general or task lighting, as it targets specific areas of a location. For example, a photographer working on a landscape might use task lighting, aimed at the specific tree and building locations, rather than general lights that would be used on a home or street scene.
Most professional photographers will already have tripod mounts on their camera and it may seem obvious how useful they are, but it’s amazing how many amateur photographers don’t have any tripod mounts at all.
Another type of product photography lighting equipment is bracketing. This refers to a method of housing continuous lights on a single platform or mount. Bracketing helps to create a uniform, focused light on the item being photographed. Some photographers use this type of system to create backgrounds for photoshoots that do not require a background to be visible, such as when shooting a still-life. Other professionals use this to create a sense of depth and ambiance in their work.