I'm really impressed by this video.

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How to produce this no-shadow effect?

How many lights do you think are required? What kind of light? Would some classical bulbs that I have at home work?

1 Answer 1


How to produce this no-shadow effect?

Some examples will explain this best.

enter image description here
Lighting with a soft box makes the shadow soft and unobtrusive.

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When close to a subject, the light rays from a large light source strike the subject from many angles. The closer the light is, the softer its shadows are.

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Results of the lighting setup. A fill card was used to lighten the front of the gourd by reflecting some light from the overhead soft box.

Images and captions from Light – Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting.

How many lights do you think are required?

This could be done with one light, but it should be a large light source relative to the object. This doesn't mean the light itself was large, but the area the the light is being emitted from was large enough to cause scattered, soft light.

This is often done by placing diffuse material between the light source and the subject such as a soft box attached to the light, a diffusion panel from a cheap collapsible reflector, a light shed/tent that you can make yourself, or even some tissue paper (make sure it doesn't catch on fire). This results in a light quality similar to an overcast sky.

Would some classical bulbs that I have at home work?

I don't know what a classical bulb is, but sure, you could possibly use typical household bulbs if they provide enough light for your camera and if you properly setup the scene. Don't forget to set the white balance. Use the same type of bulbs; don't mix types due to the potential differences in color temperature.

  • Thanks for these great explanations! About white balance: I've noticed that household bulb named "daylight" often produce a very cold white... Even after setting the right white balance on the camera, the result is often "blue-ish". Have you noticed the same? What kind of bulb would you use?
    – Basj
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:36
  • @Basj Are you using a preset white balance setting? Are there other sources of light present such as a window? You should isolate other light sources and use a custom white balance instead of the preset. Most cameras allow you to take a photo of something that is neutral white and use it as the baseline for the custom white balance. Refer to the camera instruction manual.
    – llogan
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 21:20
  • Yes @LordNeckbeard , I used the feature "take a photo of something neutral white to do custom white balance" (using a white cardboard available in photography store), I know all this process... But at the end, still, I find the result is always a bit "cold" with these daylight bulbs.... And, by the way, lots of youtube videos "lighting tutorials" / "video lighting 101" that use daylight bulb are rather cold-ish, don't you think so ?
    – Basj
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 7:08
  • @Basj Daylight bulbs are roughly 5600K color temperature. This is on the cooler end of the spectrum and is especially apparent if warmer light sources are nearby. If it still seems cold it could be due to several factors: other light sources or mismatched bulbs, the screen/monitor calibration, slight tint to white card, or simply your own subjectivity, etc. You may be able to adjust in-camera, or you can definitely perform some grading in post. I usually try to get it close enough without spending a million years on it, and then adjust it in post since I often have other things to adjust.
    – llogan
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 16:52

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