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Studio portrait class: broad lighting

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Uncle Frank, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Last week I showed samples from the short lighting section of the class I'm taking in studio lighting.


    This week we began the section on broad lighting... a technique best employed when the subject has a very thin face. The goal is to set up so the main (strongest) light illuminates the side of the face that is turned towards the camera. We used a single studio strobe for the main and a white foam core reflector for fill. This was the setup.

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    My first attempt was short of the mark. I got caught up looking at my pretty model, and when I chimped the result, it was short lighting, and harshly lit to boot :Curved:.

    View attachment 261626

    I did better with my second model, except she was leaning forward, an awkward pose that didn't do good things for her neck.

    View attachment 261627

    But I learned something useful... to use the model's ears as my guide! For broad lighting, the ear on the side of the face lit by the main should be more visible than the ear on the side lit by the fill. Here's an extreme example.

    View attachment 261628

    Definitely short lighting... but I forgot to adjust the position of the main so there would be light and catchlights in both eyes. That's a fatal flaw.

    The final shot came out just right. Not too extreme a head turn, a tiny tilt, and catchlights in both eyes.

    View attachment 261629

    Unfortunately it isn't mine :redface:. It was on my camera, but was taken by my lab partner. I'll try to do better next week.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    This looks like a lot of fun. I would love to take a class like this.
  3. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    Hey Frank, Great stuff. I wish I had a chance to take a class like this. I was looking at the first few examples and thinking that the subjects needed to turn their heads slightly and read on to see you realized that too. It's amazing what you learn just by doing things.

    I think the the broad lighting might be easier to see with a little less fill and maybe a softbox for the main instead of an umbrella. I'm guessing you used and umbrella based on your diagram. I just think the softbox would give less wrap around light and better illustrate the broad lighting.

    Just my thoughts.
  4. I understand how the first 2 are examples of broad lighting, but the other 2 are of men :wink:

    couldn't resist

    Looks like a great course!
  5. It would be interesting to see comparisons of the same person with the short and broad lighting showing the whole length of their body . I imagine this technique could be used to make larger brides look a bit thinner .
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