Understanding Portrait Lighting

Lighting a portrait can be a daunting task if you are not familiar with how light affects the subject.

  • Do you have the subject face the light directly – which will cause flat lighting?
  • Do you cast the light to the side and add depth to the subject?
  • Or, use a light source to enhance the rim light?

The best way to understand portrait lighting is by studying the relationship of shadow and highlights altered by a single light source. Once a simple concept is mastered, your photography will take a totally different look.

While simple in nature, the use of a stationary egg combined with a single light source shows the relationship of shadow and highlight. The video below displays this in an easy to understand format.

Read the entire article here via ProPhotoResource

2 Easy Studio Lighting Setups

A guest post by Allen Mowery

Anyone think it’s difficult or expensive to get professional quality lighting? Here are a couple lighting setups to debunk those myths.

I was inspired to try out a couple ideas that I had generated on the drive home from the office recently, so immediately upon arriving at my abode I furiously turned the living room into a makeshift studio. I was particularly interested in testing this technique on a small scale since I have been wanting to build large, portable diffusion panels for a while now with this particular setup in mind. My three-year-old daughter, having apparently been watching too much America’s Next Top Model lately, willingly volunteered to be my victim, frequently repeating “Work it, work it …” as she made her way through a repertoire of poses.

Setup Time: 2-3 min.

Simple 2-Light Setup

THE SETUP: A DIY diffusion panel was placed behind the subject to act as a simple backdrop. A Vivitar 283 was shot through the diffusion panel at about 1/2 power to brighten the backdrop and act as a rim light, and a Promaster 7000m was fired at full power into a DIY reflective umbrella to camera right at 45 degrees to subject.

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