Ok, so you’ve got your cyc all set up (or not) and you’re ready to take some pictures. There’s no trick to it, it’s just a simple trick. In short, it really doesn’t matter what camera you have, because it’s all about lighting. Your control of the light has the biggest impact on the final product. Composition is important too, but if you have good lighting, the right composition tends to become self-evident. Further, good lighting allows you to show all the details in your work with equal clarity.
The most important thing to remember with lighting is control. You need all the control you can get. This first translates, in this case, to working in a darkened room, preferably at night. The only lights you want falling on the subject are the lights you can control. Light coming in through a window can be very beautiful, but you don’t have a whole lot of control over it, so draw the curtains.
Before you set up the lights, you should place your subject in the middle of the scene. If you’re using the cyc, you want to place it about 4-6” back from the front edge, and centered left to right. It helps if your project can stand on its own. If it doesn’t, you can use adhesive puddy (Fun Tak), to help prop it up to the angle you like. Please note that from this point on, I will be referring to the placement of lights and reflectors as being in position around a clock, with the subject at the center.

This guide was first published on Apr 28, 2013. It was last updated on Apr 28, 2013.

This page (Part II - Taking Photos) was last updated on Apr 02, 2013.

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