Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Studio-Quality Lighting Made Easy
Discover creative lighting effects for any budget
By either varying the distance of the second light or reducing its power output, the second light will produce less illumination than the main light, which is similar to the results you'd achieve using a reflector. If you place the main light above the camera, you can then position the fill light slightly below the camera to fill in shadow areas around the nose and eyes. I also use umbrellas to diffuse the light over a broader area.
If you have only one light available, a softbox or large umbrella is a great addition. A large softbox of 20 inches or more spreads the light over a broad area, giving a more natural and pleasant look to your portraits. For single-light portraits, set up your light just to the side of the camera or 45 degrees off the lens axis. This spreads the light evenly across the face with a touch of shadow to the nose and eyes. For a flatter look, have your model tilt his or her head slightly and angled toward the light.
Jon Canfield is the author of several books on digital imaging, including RAW 101 and Print Like a Pro. He teaches at BetterPhoto.com.
Simple Tips To Improve Your Portraits
Great portraits start with good lighting, but it's the technique that makes the difference between good and great. The following checklist will help you get the kind of results you're looking for.
• Move your subject away from the background to reduce or eliminate distracting shadows.
• To remove shadows and create interesting tonalities, light the background separately with your second or even third light.
• Focus on the eyes. No matter what your depth of field is, if the eyes are in focus, the rest of the image looks better.
• If the subject wears glasses, tilt the head. Just a slight tilt of the head is often all that's needed to keep the glasses from reflecting your light.
• Use your histogram. Digital is a great way to learn portrait photography with the immediate feedback you get. Use your histogram to make sure your exposures are correct, especially in the highlights.
|Adorama (Flashpoint) (800) 223-2500||www.adorama.com|
|Alien Bees (877) 714-3381||www.alienbees.com|
|Britek (714) 841-3079||www.briteklighting.com|
|Calumet (800) CALUMET||www.calumetphoto.com|
|Lowel (800) 334-3426||www.lowel.com|
|Photoflex (800) 486-2674||www.photoflex.com|
|Smith Victor (800) 348-9862||www.smithvictor.com|
|Starlight kits (JTL) (714) 841-3079||www.jtl-lighting.com|
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