Learning different portrait lighting techniques can seem complicated when you’re just starting out. Because of this, photographer Ed Verosky shares some great advice to help you out. In his video, he gives you five of his top portrait lighting tips.They will help you master the techniques gradually, and become much better in setting up the light for portraits.
The basic three point lighting technique is a staple in portraits. It’s a simple and straightforward setup. It consists of a key light, a fill light and a rim light. It’s a technique anybody interested in portraits should learn. And it’s not necessarily because it looks particularly amazing, but it allows you to learn the basic principles of lighting any subject.
In this 7 minute video, Australian photographer PJ Pantelis, walks us through the three point lighting setup. He explains how each light contributes to the shot, showing them all separately, and together in various combinations. The actual lights and modifiers used aren’t important in this exercise. It’s all about learning how each light interacts with our subject’s features and each other.
Recently, we published an article on overpowering the sun and shooting portraits in bright sunlight. But this time, we’re going to a completely different extreme. After daylight comes the dark, and Francisco Joel Hernandez will help you take portraits at night using off camera flash. If you’re new to this kind of portraits, you’ll find it really useful, and even the more experienced photographers can use it as a checklist.
Francisco shares advice for getting enough ambient light without ending up with overexposed subjects. He also provides some sample images and BTS shots to get you inspired and illustrate what he’s talking about.
If you haven’t used color gels so far, in this video you’ll see some quick tips how to introduce color gels into your portrait work. Photographer Manny Ortiz gives you a suggestion of the setting, and also a quick tip how to make the best out of color gels.
Coming up with new and interesting ways to improve your portraits in the studio can sometimes be challenging. You feel like you’re just going through the motions session after session. Photographer, Joe Edelman, recently posted a video about the Light Blaster and how it can help you get more creative in the studio, to project shapes and even entire scenes onto your backdrop or subject.
In Joe’s newest video, he takes things a little more three dimensional. As well as providing tips on how to make and use cardboard or foamcore gobos, Joe also shows how we can use household objects to add unique interest to the background. Dog chew toys, a toddler’s toy wheelbarrow, house plants, and even toilet paper. Nothing is off limits.
Using flash on location is one of the best things you can to really push your outdoor portraits. Often, the natural light might give you exactly what you want, but often it does not. The sun might be in slightly the wrong position to give you the background you want. Or a lack of cloud cover might make it not as soft as you’d like. Too much cloud cover could make it too soft. And sometimes, you just want to get creative.
This video from Mark Cleghorn for Elinchrom shows us several ways to utilise flash on location. There’s a lot of information packed into this 4 minute video. It’s a lot like working with flash in the studio, except you have to take the ambient light into account, too. You may want to use it as a gentle fill, or you may want to try to overpower it completely. But without flash, your options are often limited.
Here’s a great video from Jake Hicks that demonstrates how you can use a three light setup to make a creative portrait, much like the photo in the title card of the video, above. In the 11-minute clip, Hicks walks us through the process of how he shot the photo, taking the time to explain the finer details of his lighting setup and how he uses specific lighting techniques to fine tune specific aspects of the photo. [Read more…]
Lighting is hands-down one of the most important elements in visual production and has the power to single-handedly alter the mood and perception of an entire scene. On a more macro level, lighting position, more so than diffusion or tone, is probably the most vital aspect to control. Lighting affects our moods, distorts space and time, and alters our perceptions of what we see, which is why optical illusions can be so baffling to the human mind.
While we have previously published a very helpful portrait lighting cheat sheet, visual creator Nacho Guzman gives us a real-time look at the varied impact of light positioning on the human face in a segment of his music video for Opale.
Fill light is probably one of the first things you learn when shooting in a studio or taking outdoor portraits, but many people aren’t aware of the reversed method – negative lighting.
As the name suggests, this method is used to subtract unwanted light and increase contrast.
In this 6-minute tutorial, Indie Cinema Academy explains what negative fill light is, how you go about using this method and why you’d even want to. The video provides examples of using negative fill and offers side-by-side comparisons, making it very useful and a great way to learn.
As Gavin Hoey explains in this informative video tutorial on softboxes, soft light is generally preferred over a hard light when shooting portraits. There are a number of light modifiers that can help achieve soft light, but one of the most commonly used is a softbox. When choosing and setting up the correct softbox for the job, size and distance from the subject will make a huge difference in the softness of light it will distribute. [Read more…]