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  • 1Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography

  • 2Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography

    Lighting GuideFor Portrait Photography

    ED VEROSKY

    (Previously Titled: Basic Lighting)

  • 3Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography

    Contents

    Introduction ...............................................................................5Light Sources and Gear ..........................................................7

    Three Types of Light .............................................................................................. 8Basic Lighting For Any Budget .............................................................................. 10Light Stands ......................................................................................................... 28Lighting Modifiers .................................................................................................. 29Starting Points ....................................................................................................... 35Backgrounds ......................................................................................................... 42Light Meters .......................................................................................................... 43

    Portrait Lighting Basics ..........................................................49Lighting For Faces ................................................................................................ 49The Five Basic Lighting Patterns .......................................................................... 50Flat vs. Dimensional Lighting ................................................................................ 54Background and Environment Considerations ...................................................... 55What Else Makes A Good Portrait? ....................................................................... 59

    Dramatic Portraits ...................................................................60Everything Starts with One Light ........................................................................... 61Adding Fill Light..................................................................................................... 65Adding Hair Light................................................................................................... 66Adding Background Light ...................................................................................... 67

    Side Lighting ............................................................................68Single Side Light Profile ........................................................................................ 69Split Light .............................................................................................................. 72Two Side Lights ..................................................................................................... 73Adding Fill Light..................................................................................................... 75Halo/Hair Rim Light ............................................................................................... 75

    Full-Length Lighting ................................................................78One Light From Above .......................................................................................... 79Two Lights for More Coverage .............................................................................. 82Big Softbox without the Box .................................................................................. 84Wall Bounce for Bigger Light ................................................................................. 85Another Solution: Move The Light Farther Away .................................................. 86

  • 4Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography

    Contents continued...Lighting For Headshots ..........................................................88

    It Begins with One Light, But You Already Knew That ........................................... 89The Fill Light ......................................................................................................... 92The Hair Light........................................................................................................ 94The Background ................................................................................................... 95Clamshell Lighting ................................................................................................ 100Headshots come in many styles ......................................................................... 104

    The White Background ..........................................................105White Backgrounds Are Easy............................................................................... 106A White Background Isnt Always White............................................................... 107The Basic White Background ............................................................................... 107Wrap-Around Lighting .......................................................................................... 110 The Light Source As Background......................................................................... 111One Light Can Work ............................................................................................. 112

    Freestyle Lighting ...................................................................113Conclusion ..............................................................................116

    Additional Resources .......................................................................................... 116

  • 5Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography Introduction

    Lighting can be one of the most challenging aspects of photog-raphy, but something every pho-tographer should strive to learn more about, no matter what their skill level. Ive written other books to address the desire to learn lighting theory and the technical aspects of lighting and exposure, and I feel that a solid understand-ing of lighting and exposure is crucial to being a well-rounded photographer. However, I also think theres much to be gained from just jumping in and creating good lighting from wherever you are in the learning curve. Produc-ing great portraits is the goal after all, but getting somewhere with your work right now is also encouraging. Knowing that you have it in you to create good images will only make you want to improve your technique and understanding as you move forward.

    This book is designed to lead you on a path of learning by doing. The ex-amples I ask you to follow are organized so that you can create great im-ages right away, and its my hope that youll gain some important insight as you move through them. Every step of the way, youll pick up a new tech-nique or principle, possibly use it in another example, and before you know it, youll be applying these techniques to your own lighting combinations!

    Introduction

    5

  • 6Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography Introduction

    Theres a tendency to want to fill up a book like this with some of my favorite stylized examples for each lighting setup, but I went the other way this time. Instead, I made the decision to stick with basic, no-frills images that would serve as instructive templates to work from. The images showing some of the lighting setups and gear, and the perspective diagrams were also con-sidered carefully. For the sake of uniformity and simplicity, the illustrations mostly feature main and fill lighting represented by small flash units modified with shoot-through umbrellas. However, any of the light sources can be re-placed by other types of lighting and modifiers to suit your particular needs. I think Ive struck a good balance with all of the visuals in order to commu-nicate the concepts Im trying to teach. Hopefully, youll agree and find the presentation easy to follow and straight to the point.

    Finally, I recommend you not only use these examples to learn where to place your lights, but also how to control their output manually, as opposed to limiting yourself to using automatic technologies like E-TTL II or i-TTL as they are available with small flash units. This isnt to say I dont want you to use TTL at all, I just want you to learn how to mange your lights and cam-eras manual features, too. These are going to be very important later.

    Well get started first with some basics about the type of lighting you can use, the portraiture lighting patterns you should be familiar with, and then move on to the examples you can follow to create your own impressive portraits!

  • 7Ed VeroskysLighting Guide For Portrait Photography Light Sources & Gear

    CHAPTER 1

    Light Sources and Gear No matter what your budget or how limited your work space or experience level, you should be able to use this book to create great portrait lighting immedi-ately. Although you wont need studio strobes or shoe-mount flash units to create the lighting patterns Im going to cover in this text, I strongly recommend that you invest in some type of flash/strobe lighting for your portraiture work. As I explain below, this will afford you the most control and versatility with your lighting (see Figure 1.1).

    Still, its the way light and shadow fall across your subject that matters most; the type of light being used is less important to the final image.

    So, if all you have to work with are house-hold lamps and/or natural light (Figure 1.2), use your creativity to direct your light where its needed to approximate the examples in this book. By doing so, youll improve your portraiture as you learn the principles that will guide you should you eventually