How to light a portrait

In this video you will see five lighting schemes for portrait photography. Photographer Jay P. Morgan demonstrates in his studio room what you can achieve with different light techniques. By the way, don't place your model in front of your camera straight, your photos will be much more interesting if your talent sits at a slight angle to your camera.

  • Rembrant light is the first to be demonstrated. Just put your light source (a softbox in this case) above your model at 45 degrees and 45 degrees off the center line. That way you get a small triangle on the model's face (opposite side) and this is a classic lighting scheme that you can find looking at many paintings from 17-19 centuries. There is no shadow fill, just one single light used for this style.
  • Split light can be achieved if you move your light source from the Rembrant position further, to make a 90 degree angle with model's center line. That way the light highlights the face stronger from one side and it is noticeable on the nose core. It is more dramatic lighting if you really want to make a statement. If you fill the shadow in some way, you may be more comfortable using Split light.
  • Broad light is when your light source is in the same position as with Rembrant light, but your talent moves away from the light so that we can see the lit side of her face rather that a shadow side with Rembrant.
  • Butterfly light - move your softbox forward and higher at a steep angle to your model. It is a beauty light used for women portraits, especially if you apply some reflector underneath to fill the shadows. Make sure that the shadow from her nose does not touch her lip.
  • Loop light - move your light source from the butterfly position slightly off center and then one side of your model's face will become brighter but not as dramatic as with Rembrant because now your light is much higher. It is a variation of Butterfly light.
Choosing what scheme to use should be based on your subject because if you have an older person to make a portrait of, some lighting may be better that the others.

No comments :

Post a Comment