Position of Hairlight

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 14,720
Re: Position of Hairlight

A hair light can be almost any size and have almost any position except in front of the subject, and  it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone had used one that was in front of the subject.

What you are doing is making the hair look better and/or separating the subject's hair from the background.  The correct size and position for the hair light is the one that give the best look.

Think about someone outside late in the afternoon when the sun is getting close to the horizon.  If they stand with their back to the sun then the sun makes a beautiful hair light, and the brighter hair really separates the subject's hair from the darker background.

That is basically what you are trying to do with a hair light.

With a white background you don't really need a hair light very often but you might use one with a dark haired subject.  A hair light reflecting off of shinny dark hair can be a nice look.

With a darker background a hair light can help separate the subject from the background.  Without a background light the main light will usually illuminate the near side of the hair sufficiently.  It will also put more light on the same side of the background as the main light.  You use the hair light to separate the subject from the darker side of the background.

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