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Photo Shoot with Continuous Lighting

April 02, 2009 2 min read

Using continuous lights for photo shoots, especially when shooting people, has many advantages. The lighting is easily controlled since the light output is continuous and flicker-free; CFL and HID lights hardly generate any heat, keeping the subjects cool. Our continuous lighting photo shoot diagram shows various setup possibilities, including 2 to 4 lights setup.



Shadow reduction: Fair

Two lights are placed at a 45 deg angle or less to the subject. It may be desirable to have one of the lights further from the subject to produce more depth in the subject. You may also have one of the lights higher than the other for controlled shadow. 


Side Lighting

Shadow reduction: Better

Adding a side light aimed down on the subject will further reduce shadows. Using a boom light for the third light can have additional versatility in shadow reduction and management. A boom supported light allows for an infinite variety of lighting angles including top lighting and up lighting.



Shadow reduction: Best

For maximum shadow reduction use 4 lights as shown. The 2 “rear” lights should be aimed down on the subject as well as to the side.

Adding a fifth light to this arrangement will have little effect. 




The following does not apply to the ALZO Cool Lites

Continuous HOT Flood lighting requires consideration into power availability. A 500watt photo continuous light consumes about 4.5 amps of current at 115 volts AC. A typical wall outlet has a maximum 15 amp circuit capacity. Factory and Studio outlets may be configured with 20 amp circuits. Therefore a typical wall outlet will supply a maximum of (3)  500-600 watt lights. A single 20 amp circuit can support a maximum of (4) 500-600 watt lights.

Consult a licensed electrician if you have any concerns about circuit capacity in your facility.

In order to operate more than (3) light sources on a typical wall outlet you may need to plug one of your additional lights into a separate circuit. This may require an extension cord to connect to an outlet in another room. Assure that any extension cords are 12 gauge wire. Most extension cords are 14 gauge wire which is not acceptable for continuous lighting.



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