Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lighting Exercise

As simple as 1,2,3,4,5….         Not exactly!
Lighting has always created a challenge for me.  I know what I want but sometimes take the rocky road to get there.  This is a simple exercise in lighting that I practiced to help me demonstrate just what my lights are accomplishing in their direct form.

Esmerelda hung around after our fall scarecrow displays…. and she's been put to good use!

  First up Flat Lighting

One flash on camera facing directly at Esmerelda.  Not the most flattering of light to use for a portrait even though Esmerelda is being quite gracious with me.
 Secondly Butterfly Light
This is our first step in off-camera flash.  Raised slightly above Esmerelda and angled down to bring a small "butterfly" shadow just under her nose.   As you can see we're already at a more flattering portrait of Esmerelda with that slight adjustment.
  Third is Loop Lighting
Keeping our flash at the same height but moving it at a 25% angle towards camera right.  Here we start to see a soft shadow to the side of her nose giving her face more depth through those shadows.   We're on our way to creating some drama!  Can you see the excitement in her eyes?
  Fourth is Rembrandt Lighting  Adjusting the flash an additional 25% from camera right.  This small adjustment creates a triangular highlight under Esmerelda's cheek on camera left.  Going for a more edgy look and giving Esmerelda the drama she deserves.
 Fifth and lastly is Split Lighting
Went an additional 25% angle with our flash placing it just off to her side.  This allows half of Esmerelda's face to fall into shadow offering a heavy directional light across her face and body.  She is a woman of mystery and this lighting suits her personality.

By using Esmerelda as my "stand in" I could see the illustration of each light setup and how it changed with just a small adjustment.  Visual exercises allow us to focus on the light changes and see that they are quite definitive.

It's always great to practice and learn with lighting.  Esmerelda is a women of few words - but she accepted this exercise with grace and poise.  I can see us having a great working relationship down the road….. stay tuned.



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