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Lighting Applications & Variations

This lighting is good for a variety of faces and is quite useful for doing beauty shots and glamorous headshots.  As with the lighting in example 1.1, this lighting is not particularly good at imparting a sense of depth, and people with prominent ears may not look their best with it.  Though frontal lighting is generally not the best choice for broad and heavy faces, this particular setup can appear to narrow the face.  This occurs because the light sources are on axis and relatively narrow, resulting in little light wrapping around the sides of the face.  

A softer look can be achieved by replacing the silver fabric reflector with a plain white one.  This lighting works particularly well when using diffusion filters in front of the camera lens.  




Adjust the silver reflector with care.  An improperly positioned reflector can accentuate facial sheen and turn subjects with oily or leathery skin into a shiny mess.



Lighting Diagram 2.1b (side view)

Lighting Diagram 2.1a (top view)

Example Portrait 2.1

Here is a lighting setup that is quite similar to that used in example 1.1, but with the addition of a hair light and using smaller, punchier lighting sources.  To a great extent, the success of this image must be attributed to an attractive young lady and professionally-applied makeup.  Fine makeup can make a big difference. 



 The Lighting Setup

The  lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in diagram 2.1a (top view) and 2.1b (side view) below.  A monolight was fitted with a 24" beauty-dish reflector with the central deflector cap removed and a white diffusion cover stretched over the front.  This produced a lively, diffused light that was very slightly hotter in the center.  A 27" square reflector covered with silver lame fabric was placed just in front of the subject, roughly parallel to the floor, and at chin level.  The result is a light that is smooth, yet on the brilliant side.  A strobe head fitted with a narrow-coverage grid provided gentle, localized lighting of the hair.  The hair light was set to approximately 1.25 f-stops less  than the frontal lighting( main and reflector combined).   The background, a very light gray seemless, was only illuminated by the main source and, at 10' feet behind the subject, shows the effect of illumination fall-off.