Lighting is Everything

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This is Shane.  He was nice enough to model for us in Lighting class the other day.  The technique being demonstrated here is broad lighting.  Broad lighting is lighting the broad side of the face — the shoulder is facing into the light.  In this assignment we used two lights, a main light and a fill light at a 1 to 3 ratio.  For example, metering off of an 18% gray card reads F11 for the main light, set up the fill light at F8 (always one stop less and that is a 100% difference in light, and is less intense).  It is important in studio/portraiture lighting to get the closed triangle of light above the eye and down through the nose (you do this with the main light, before turning on the fill light).  The closed triangle is difficult to see in this portrait and I will show another one later where the triangle is very evident.

This portrait of Shane straight out of the camera needs to be a bit darker, and with the magic of Photoshop it is:

Braod Lighting FINAL

See how warm the skin tones are now?  That was just a matter of playing around with the levels and curves in Photoshop.  Broad lighting is generally used for a thin face.

The next type of portrait lighting we learned was narrow lighting and when you use this technique you will place your key light more to the side of your subject. In this way you are narrowing the light that strikes the subject.  This type of lighting is generally used for a more round face.  (Notice the closed triangle below the left eye).

Narrow Lighting FINAL

This is Jessica, who is in my class, and so cute, but refused to smile…

So, there you have it, so far two basic lighting techniques for portraiture.

Now if someone could explain the color theory in color photography, I'd be so grateful!


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