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Lesson: Beginners Guide to Strobe Lights and Simple Portraits´s archives ↓

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 21

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 22

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 23

Two Light Setups

This light setup is another approach to the key/fill lighting setup. It is similar to the one light setup and you can use it as an alternative. I tend to use this when I am photographing more than one person such as a group and need more light although it is common among photographers to use two light setups for their portrait work. It is a matter of taste.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 24

HAIR LIGHT

A hair light is another addition you can add to your portrait setups and it is a matter of taste as to whether you do this or not.  The hair light can often add the sparkle to a portrait and help the subject pop off the background. They can make your subject look better, the portrait more professional, and this subtle detail can often please your client. Of course, they would not work for a subject who was bald or had to much thinning hair.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 25

EDGE LIGHTS

Another light I use often is an Edge light, others call it a Kicker. Call it what you wish, but the idea here is to have a slightly brighter light coming from behind to add a highlight to the subjects shadow side.  The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 26

Background Lights

Most portraits that you will be asked to shoot will require a background of some sort. Usually you need to light this if you are indoors. If you are outdoors you can often use light that is on the existing background, but adding light can provide some interest or effect.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 27

CROSS LIGHTING: Place Your Lights Carefully

Now that you are taking your first portraits, I would like to share some things I see quite often with students setting up their lights for the first time and taking a portrait. I call it ‘cross lighting’. This is a common approach for photographers who have just started using lights.

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Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 28

As you progress with portrait lighting, you will need to consider how you approach each subject and plan to light them. Faces come in all shapes and sizes, from very slender and thin faces to full and round, and your approach for lighting needs to show them best. Generally with a thin or slender face you want to use a flatter more frontal light, such as the key light at 5:00 or 7:00 o’clock, depending on which side of the camera the key light is placed.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Beginners Guide to Strobe Lighting: Page 29

SUMMARY

We have covered in this course the fundamentals of lighting for a wide range of subjects.   You can have a great photo idea, a great composition, a great concept, but for the photo to succeed you have to have great lighting. No matter how long you are a photographer, you will never know everything about lighting. It evolves and changes. No sunrise is ever the same! For you to succeed in photography you have to master lighting and you do this by experimenting and continually looking around at how others use light.

After 30 years of doing photography, I still spend a lot of time looking through magazines and books to understand how others see lighting. It is a constantly evolving process and as you learn lighting you will be able to start visualizing how you want the lighting in your photo to look.

One of the keys for being successful in Portrait photography is to continue to explore, invent, and create new ideas. This goes for anything in photography. So experiment and challenge yourself! If Charlie said “put the light here”, try that and then move it elsewhere. Create your own look and style and this will lead to greater success in portrait photography.

If you would like to learn more about studio portraiture, take our class: Lighting Techniques of the Portrait Masters. In this course you will learn knockout backgrounds, posing, glamour lighting, and much more.

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