5 important things for lighting bald people

Sep 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

5 important things for lighting bald people

Sep 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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It’s always fun and useful to learn skills, tips and tricks about lighting, and Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has shared tons of them so far. In his latest video, he shares important things to consider when lighting a bald subject. There are five tricks which will help you light hairless people properly, and since Caleb decided to shave his head, he demonstrates them on himself as the subject.

YouTube video

1. Dealing with glare

The skin on bald people’s heads is very reflective, and it will be the first thing you’ll notice when lighting them for photo or video. Caleb’s video made me remember the time when my boyfriend got into the role of his Halloween costume and shaved his head to become more like Walter White from Breaking Bad. Just look at this reflection on his head:

Of course, these are just some snapshots so who cares about the reflections. But when doing commercial shots, sweat or greasy skin could be an issue. In such situations, a bit of powder will come in handy to deal with those highlights on the head.

2. Check exposure

In relation to the previous point: those reflections on the head could create overexposed parts on the subject’s head. So, if your camera has zebras, false color or “blinkies,” use any of those to scan the area on the model’s head to make sure nothing’s overexposed.

3. Lower the key light

The general rule is to lower the key light to minimize those glares on the head. Experiment with the exact position of the light, and take the shape of people’s head into consideration.

4. Kicker/rim/hair light

When lighting a bald person, you don’t need the hair light. After all, there’s no hair, right? Si, you can either completely eliminate them, or reduce them, because they can cause a distraction on the subject’s head.

Instead of lighting the subject, you can lighten up the background to separate the subject from the background. In this case, you can avoid the backlight completely.

5. Backdrop color and lighting

Finally, when choosing the background, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be of similar color to the skin of the subject. There’s no hair to create some separation, so make sure that the background and the skin are different color and properly lit.

[How to Light Bald People | DSLR Video Shooter]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “5 important things for lighting bald people”

  1. Bruno Pezzimenti Avatar
    Bruno Pezzimenti

    Samuel Pezzimenti can I practice on you?

  2. Carl P. Mudgen Avatar
    Carl P. Mudgen

    Very important to also know, you should also never, ever refer to them with the derogatory slur: bald. The preferred, non-offensive term is follicle-challenged.