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Lighting Applications & Variations

This lighting is fairly similar to beauty lighting, but with harder and offset shadows.  It seems more appropriate for masculine subjects, but that is a matter of taste.  One could substitute smaller and harder sources for the softbox, but larger sources would likely soften the shadow transitions and reduce drama. 

This lighting could work well for many male subjects, but, as the near ear is fully lighted, this setup may not be best for sitters with prominent ears.   With the subject's face rotated slightly more toward the shadow side, this setup will work well with broad or broad-bulb noses. 


Lighting Diagram 3.5

Example Portrait 3.5

This low-key example utilizes smaller softboxes placed at greater-than-normal distances to produce a harder light that is fitting for the masculine subject.   



 The Lighting Setup

The  lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in the in the diagram below.  A monolight fitted with a 24" recessed softbox was placed above and slightly to the left of the camera as the main light.  A small rectangular silver reflector was placed in front of the subject, just below the  chin level, to kick light up into the eyes.    A small strip light set in the vertical orientation was placed behind and to the left of the subject  to help emphasize the cheekbone and to reveal texture in the cap.  A black-foam-board flag was placed between the strip light and camera to avoid flare.  Lastly, a standard head covered with a piece of diffusion gel acted as a background light.  The strip light was set for an incident reading at one f-stop less bright than the frontal illumination.  The background was quite dark and was over-lighted to produce a reflected reading approximately 1/2 f-stop brighter than the incident frontal-illumination reading.