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September 22, 2013


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Written by: Lawrence
OMG this wedding venue is only lit by only candles.
Have you ever been presented with this kind of wedding photography situation?

Well, if not then you are lucky for now but you can’t just leave wedding photography situations to luck. You will need to be prepared for any lighting situation. Not everyone can afford a Nikon D4 or a Canon 1D X that allows for shooting at very high ISOs. So you need to use flashes and you need to know how to use the flashes in a way to mask the “flash” look and mimic in this case candle light.  Don’t worry I got your back into how to mimic candlelight.


Mimic Candlelight with the use of flashes



  • 1 –  DSLR (Nikon D300s)
  • 3 – FLASHES (Nikon SB-900)
  • 3 – Light modifiers ( 1 Lumiquest snoot XTR for main/fill , 1 Lumiquest Softbox LTP for edge light, 1 Gary Fong Collapsible snoot with grid )
  • 4 – REMOTE TRIGGERS (Pocketwizard Plus IIIs or Pocketwizard Flex TT5)
  • 5 – LIGHT STANDS ( Joby gorillapod with Joby ballhead)
  • 2 – CTO gels  (Lee filters)


1. Meter for the candle light and white balance set to sunlight.

2. Subject main light with Lumiquest snoot XTR light modifier

  • Positioning – 45 degrees camera left or right relative to the location of the candle.
  • Configuration –  A half stop higher than your candle exposure
  • Effect – Isolated main light to illuminate the subjects top third in relation to the candle. The lumiquest snoot XTR will allow you to not overpower and washout the candle light.

3. Subject rim light  with Lumiquest softbox LTP  light modifier with CTO gel

  • Positioning – 45 degrees behind the subject camera left or right relative to the location of the candle and point slightly in the direct of the camera to create a soft flare.
  • Configuration –  Two full stops higher than your candle exposure.
  • Effect – Separate subject and candle from background. The Lumiquest softbox LTP provides isolated soft light to gentle separate the subject background. The CTO gel will replicate the candle light orange look.

4.  Background light

  • Positioning – 10 degrees from background camera left or right relative to the closest candle. This will allow for a slight gradient in the background.
  • Configuration – A half stop higher than your candle exposure
  • Effect – Provides texture to the background and adds dimension to the image. The CTO gel will replicate the candlelight orange look.


So what do you think? Were you able to closely replicate my image of Dave the minion surrounded by candles? I’d love to see what you did by submitting your image to the PhotographySILO flickr group and add the tags “mimic the light” “candle”

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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.