Photography by definition is the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor. In plain English, a light graph. It just happens to have a person, car, animals, etc. We have to have light in order to be able to record it. Without light there is no picture.
We all get caught up by camera gear. The camera someone is using, the types of modifiers but more importantly the type of light is being produced and quality of that light. We as photographers, do our very best to come up with what we consider to be a great image. We use whatever light we have available to us. It could be an available light, a speed light, or a strobe. It's whatever one chooses to use as a light source. Sometimes, some of the images are lit the same way. The trusted side lighting to accent the musculature, I love my Elinchrom lights. I don't go anywhere without my ELB400, Quadra Ranger, Rotalux softbox and EL-SkyPort HS.
I don't believe anyone walks around with a play by play diagram book of lighting diagrams in hand. There are too many issues at stake and no set up will be identical. Distances will vary light output may vary. For the most part, we use our eyes as a guide to see if we like the light or chose to change it. Some like it dark, others don't. I personally like to control my shadows. I find shadows to be more interesting then the highlights sometimes.
Some photographers chose to mix the ambient light with the artificial light created. Other photographers like to separate them from everything. I personally love the overhead lighting. Its mimicking the sun. Creating hard shadows on the muscles but defining them. Highlights are created on the upper shoulder area. I use this lighting because its close to that of Per Bernal << (image above). I have gone thought so many magazines and images online. Per Bernal as I see it, is the standard of real fitness photography. He has created many epic images throughout his career. To say that I am mimicking this lighting? maybe..? but then when I see images from other photographers images its the same lighting style. The lighting I see is a main light to the front and two side lights to accent the body. (As seen in the first image with the two blue lights and yellow as a main light.) No one can really trademark lighting style and claim that for themselves. We do we feel is right whether its lens choice or lighting style. We each do what we want for our images. One thing that each photographer must do is become unique and find their own style based on whomever they idolize and try and make it unique to themselves.
I ask questions to learn what's right and wrong in the photography world from other photographers in the industry. Some will guide you in the right direction enough to let you use your imagination. Others, will make up an excuse and not be direct with their answers; sugarcoat the truth. Whatever the case maybe, practice your craft, learn the capabilities of your camera. Learn your lighting style and what it can do for you. Work that one piece of gear till you know the full capabilities. Know what your highlights (bright spots and shadows (dark spots) are doing based on how you have it set up.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you didn't know before this, I also have a Youtube with different content about interviews camera gear that I use or abuse. Thank you for reading this blog.