Lighting Diagrams: To draw or not to draw?

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 6, 2011

Category: General

One thing I’ll always try to make sure and do when I write about a recent photo shoot is to include a complete walk through of what I did and why. This invariably means including the occasional BTS (Behind the Scenes) shot showing the set up and a hand drawn lighting diagram.

For those of you who are regular followers of this blog, I think it’d be fair to say that when it comes to artistic flair, my lighting diagrams are..ahem…’interesting’ to say the least; sure they get the information across but I’ll certainly not win any awards for my drawing skills 🙂

I asked folks a while back on Twitter if I should keep them as they are or if I should look to using some of the lighting diagram utilities that are out there, which at the time were mainly for use in Photoshop. The response was mixed..some saying that I should keep drawing them as they are because they add personality to the posts and some saying I should use the ‘corporate’ style ones…

Anyway, there’s been a lot of developments lately in the Lighting Diagram department, particularly as Apps for the iPhone and iPad and one that’s really caught my attention is “Sylights”, which I originally saw reviewed over on Terry White’s BestApp site [Link]. One thing in particular I like about “Sylights” amongst other things is that it doesn’t have the ‘corporate’ feel of other utilities but maintains that ‘drawn’ feel…

I’ve installed “Sylights”, which incidentally is FREE, on my iPad and it’s incredibly easy to use making the process of putting a lighting diagram together both quick and fun…

Once created you can keep a library of your diagrams together and also share them via email with as much or as little information attached as you like. I could go on about this great little App and do a review but rather than do that I’m going to point you again over to Terry’s fabulous BestApp Site where he’s done exactly that [Link].

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying here is…this could well be the end of my freehand drawing career,
Enjoy 🙂

Sylights: FREE on iTunes for iPad [Link] and iPhone [Link]

>Incidentally if you have an iPhone or an iPad I highly recommend subscribing to Terry’s superb sites and making them part of your daily read … BestApp Site [Link] and Terry White’s Tech Blog [Link] for all things Gadget related; both are updated on a daily basis with Terry’s unbiased ‘hands on’ reviews and updates.

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  1. kelley

    Awesome! I’m a firm believer in drawing out the set up as it was required in all my higher level photo classes. Personally I have always enjoyed your drawings, especially those little faces lol. However, I’m loving the looks of the iPad program and now have one more reason to get one.

    Maybe you could just draw us a little face every now and then, it’s always nice to remember where we came from! Hee hee. Nice to check in, I may not comment but I’m always staying in touch! Well done!


  2. CallumW

    I prefer to take a couple wide reference shots of a setup form different angles, add power/settings to the pics in post then keep them in their own wee folder for reference.

    Same idea, but a more organic show of heights, angles and modifiers used. Great if I need to recreate a similar setup more accurately.

    Example (without power/settings):
    I probably wouldn’t know I’d doubled the frost on the right if I hadn’t photo’d it.


  3. DaveT

    Looks polished and for most studio type setups I suppose it will do the job. What about the outdoor shots such as when you photographed the band by the trees and had a flashgun in the branches – could you draw that setup in the application?

    Perhaps the Glyn Dewis illustrations will live on after all – yeah!

    I like the idea of the idea of the app as a tool for referencing lighting set ups though, its a very useful concept.

  4. Rishi S.

    Either way it’s fine. But your sketches are pretty awesome as they are, and also a little less intimidating. 🙂

  5. Konfral

    Your drawings are so cool, that I wouldn’t like to see it replaced by anything created by an app 🙂

    • Glyn

      Nice of you to say, thanks 🙂


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