What is Sylights?

Sylights is an online service directed to photographers willing to document their photos through lighting diagrams.
It has mainly been thought for strobists, studio photographers or other people playing with articial lights in general, who want to share on their techniques.

Is it free?

Yes! Sylights is meant to be a free service to photographers. We might include some “premium” features in the future, but the core service is and will remain free.

What can I do with my diagrams?

You can use lighting diagrams from Sylights for pretty much anything you’d like: blog, webzine, website, portfolio, … as long as it is free and not derived from a commercial product or service.
However, we’d like you to retain Sylights logo on exported images or—should you remove it—to give attribution to Sylights. This is an easy way for you to support us while fully enjoying the quality of our lighting diagrams in your photography-related publications or products!
 
In the case of a commercial use, please contact us!
We are completely open to the use of Sylights in your commercial projects and we’ll be happy to help you the best we can with them, so please get in touch in order to discuss the specifics of your project!

Do I have to create an account?

Creating an account on sylights.com is recommended but not required.
Without an account, you’ll be able to generate diagrams but they will stay on our servers for 24 hours only. You can copy and use these temporary diagrams, but you won’t be able to use other services provided by Sylights.
With an account, you’ll be able to enjoy every features of Sylights as it grows, including:

  • Diagram edition
  • Permalinks to your diagrams
  • Online user profile
  • Sharing features
  • and more…

How to use Sylights Diagram Editor?

Here are some tips on using the diagram editor. You can find them on the editor itself as quick references, if needed.

To add objects to your diagram, right click on the diagram view and use the menu to select an item.
You can interact with each object by hovering them with your mouse and using the controls that appear then.

  • Drag the rotation handle around to choose the orientation of your object.
  • Use the resizing handle to change the size of your object. The rulers will help you in this, if you want some precision.
  • Delete objects by clicking this last control.
  • If you need to reorder overlapping objects, hover one of them with your mouse and hit B or F to move it backward or forward.
  • Use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out.

You also have several settings above the diagram that you can play with, to get your diagram closer to your real setup. Choose how wide it was by setting the diagram’s dimensions. You can change the displayed units of measurement to your liking, the conversion will be made for you. The grid and rulers are here as helpers to have a better placement of your objects.
See these tools and settings as a way to control relative placement of your objects between each other, instead of absolute placement on the diagram: when you save your diagram an image is generated, which will be cropped automatically to remove unused space.

Use the description field to give more information on your diagram and gear (until we get an annotation feature), give it a name and click “Save” to generate your diagram.

Why do I need to activate Javascript?

Javascript is a technology supported by all major browsers available today. It allows a web page to include dynamic, interactive features instead of being static.
Sylights leverages some of the last Javascript functionalities to provide you with an efficient, plugin-free tool. It should come at no cost for you if you are using your browser’s default configuration.
However if you have changed some of those settings and deactivated Javascript support, you need to set it back on for Sylights to work properly.
Please see this question if you don’t know how to do this.

How do I activate Javascript in my browser?

Depending on your browser, the procedure will vary. If your browser is missing in the list below, please check on its official website for some support.

Google Chrome
Security settings: Images, JavaScript, and other web content settings

Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera
activatejavascript.org has some detailed instructions for these browsers.

Is Sylights compatible with my browser?

Sylights Diagram Editor uses some of the latest web technologies, included in all modern browsers in their most recent versions. We have tested Sylights and found it compatible with the following browsers:

  • Firefox 3.5
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari 4
  • Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8
  • Opera 10.53

This list might of course not be complete.
Please check that you are running the last version of your browser to use Sylights, and that Javascript is enabled. If you are up to date and have problems nonetheless, don’t hesitate to give us feedback!

How can I format texts (comments, description, ...) on Sylights?

Here are some text patterns you can use in your comments and diagram descriptions to format the resulting text:
*bold text*→ bold text
_italic text_ → italic text
-stroke out text- → stroke out text
^superscript text^ → superscript text
"link text":http://www.sylights.com → link text

Why can't I add more than 5 photos to a diagram?

Sylights is not a photography sharing community, like Flickr is for instance.
Photos on Sylights are meant to illustrate the effects and efficiency of your lighting setup.
We do encourage you to post several photos, like one of your setup, one or more result shots, a 100% crop to show a light falloff, and so on. We think 5 photos should be enough for this purpose.