There are some classic lighting styles that every photographer needs to understand. And you also need to be able to create them whether you only have daylight to work with – or flash.
In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss classic portrait lighting styles including beauty lighting, loop lighting, split lighting, Rembrandt lighting, short lighting, broad lighting and much more.
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Knowing how to manipulate light in relation to your model is a game changer. These rules apply to ALL light, daylight,flash,led,torch or light saber. If you understand light you can achieve any light style.
Using the classic portrait lighting styles is not an essential skill there are some photographers who light intuitively and that’s ok but just like knowing colour theory or composition rules it’s a great idea to be aware of them
Factors that influence lighting
- Quality of light (hard vs soft)
- Position of light in relation to your subject
- The amount of fill light or contrast in your image
1. Quality of light (hard vs soft)
2. Position of light in relation to your subject
How close or far your image is to your subject also influences brightness of light. (This is a no brainer)
3. The next two laws are counter intuitive:
How close or far away your subject is from the light source with influence contrast.
The size of the light source in relation to your subject will influence how soft or hard your light is.
If you want to create a low contrast image move your subject away from the light source.
1. Classic Beauty lighting
Main light is positioned directly above the model’s head
A variation of Beauty lighting is called loop lighting. This is basically the same setup as beauty lighting but instead of having the light in front it’s to the side slightly.
2. Split lighting
3. Rembrandt lighting
4. Rim lighting
Short and Broad lighting
Moody vs Flat lighting
Use moody lighting for drama to add character and depth.
Avoid moody on older female models as it’s not flattering.
Flat lighting is flattering (see what I did there)
Hard lighting can be manipulated using fill light.
Soft light can be manipulated using cutters or negative fill.