The Shenandoah Valley SMUG learns about portrait lighting!
The Shenandoah SMUG met at the Boita Photography Studio with special guest, John Sichenze. John is a landscape and portrait photographer who has been shooting for about 40 years. He started with film and progressed to digital. He says he loves to work in the studio and to create the look he wants by controlling the light.
John went over Strobe lighting and the 5 most common lighting set ups. What I loved about this was that after he went over the lighting types, he let all of us set up the lights, meter them, and then take a picture ourselves.
5 most common Portrait lighting Set-Ups:
- Broad Lighting – Main light illuminates the broad side of the face, and there is a shadow present cast from the nose onto the short side of the face. (Fills out a narrow face/broadens face)
- Short Lighting – Main light is coming from the short side of the face, and the broad side of the face has the shadow. (Slims face, great for rounder faces)
- Rembrandt Lighting/45 degree – You use a short light set up and work with the main light and subject position so the shadow from the nose reach or just touches the shadow on the side of the face. (Good for longer faces, use the shadow on the lower half of face to shorten the face)
- Split Lighting – In lighting, we discussed that there is a patch of light cast onto the shadow side of the face. If the main light is moved so far off to the side of the subject that the patch of light on the shadow side of the face disappears, and only half the face remains lit by the main light, you have Split Lighting.
- Butterfly Lighting – This term gets it’s name from the butterfly-like shadow that is cast beneath the nose of the subject.
John also discussed Main, Fill, and background lights.
Main and Fill – Good to start out with 2 stop difference from Main to fill
White background – 2 stops higher than fill
Black background – If your model’s hair is also black, you need to try and differenciate between hair and background using rim lighting.
Submitted by the Shenandoah Valley SMUG Scribe: Shauna Rudolph
Shauna is a part time portrait photographer that has just gotten more serious about her photography. She is based out of Winchester, VA. She loves to play with sport photography for fun, because it is great to be able to capture her kids in action.