Portrait Lighting

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Last week in class we went over portrait lighting (or studio lighting).  It’s what you see at professional photo shoots, where the lights are all set up with the reflective umbrella and everything is staged appropriate for the subject…it reminds me to much of school photos and who likes those!  (except for my mom who will be getting the 2012-2013 school photo in the mail!)  Every photographer has their own (unique) style and I have found out I AM NOT a studio light photographer, I just love natural light and the outdoors too much!

But it was great learning about the different lighting techniques and how positioning the light a certain way can either flatter & enhance your subjects features or not!  But it’s defiantly not for me.  I did have a lot of fun playing setting it up, thanks to my husband for being a willing participate, though he had no choice, I was able to shoot a few of them successfully.  (I used a desk lamp, it’s easier to move and twist, but you can use any old lamp at home or hell go out and hell you can always buy some real studio lighting if you decide this is something you love!)

Broad Lighting or Butterfly lighting: (best for women) but the light is coming down on your subject to where you can see a shadow just below the nose, some say it looks like a butterfly shadow…hints the name!

800, f/2.8, 1/80

Rembrandt Lighting:  This lighting tends to be used a lot, the light is at a 45 degree angle to your subject and it casts a triangle under the eye that is furthest away from the light.  I don’t understand this lighting, it’s neat when you finally get the light to do what you want though.  I used a fill (reflector) to bounce the light back up to “fill” the shadows and I liked that the best.

800, f/2.8, 1/80

With Reflector: 800, f/2.8, 1/80

Split Lighting:  The class favorite, everyone last night loved the split lighting, I think it’s because it’s the easiest-you can’t really screw this up!  You place the light source next to your subject and shadow hides half of their face.  (“Spliting” the face in half)

800, f/2.8, 1/125


Short Lighting:  The light source hits the side of the face that is the furthest away from the camera–I don’t think I accomplished this one exactly  but I tried…I was trying to go for Back-lighting/Rim Lighting, (which I have talked about before), but I got this instead…

800, f/2.8, 1/80

800, f/2.8, 1/100

*Our teacher Jodi mentioned a way of making the light more flattering to your own style, is to combined it with natural light or window light!  This is something I’m going to try (instead of a lamp, use your flash!)  Stay tune for those photos!

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