Position of Hairlight

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: Position of Hairlight

Google and other online sources are not always necessarily going to yield solid professional advice on the finer points of portraiture. If you really want to begin the study of advanced portraiture, Google "Joseph Zeltzman Portraiture Lesion". want to study the art of portraiture. Download the lessons (there is no cost) and take your time reading into in the text as you construct o you studio area. It's kind "old school" in that it is rooted in the FILM era but the lighting methods are classical, definitive and completely applicable to digital photograhy and produced by a grandmaster of the craft. There is also detailed advice on posing, color harmony, and many other related topics.

You might consider installing your hair light on the ceiling- that will conserve floor space and may work well where there is limited space.

Fill light type, placement and technique is a subject in and of itself. There are many methods, A fixed fill ligt at the back of the room provided by a unit in a softbox, large white umbrella or parabolic lights bounced off the ceiling will provide an all-over fill for individual portraits or groups. This is basically flat light and is not supposed to provide "shadows" or specular highlights. A reflector can be used as well, however, that will not be practical for groups. The function of the fill light is to control contrast, maintain detail within the camera's dynamic range, and provide control over the ratio and key of the image. The man light provides the aesthetics of light and shadow, lighting pattern, and is key in the creation of dimension, modeling, and mood.

As I alluded to in my previous post, the classical method is to bring the hair ligh from the same side as the main light. I also mentioned that I sometimes break that rule for glamorizing purposes.

Yoru best bet in learning portraiture, aside from taking classes on a professional level, is to create your setup, start shooting and post your images for advice and critique.

Good luck!

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Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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