July 05, 2013

Lighting set-ups (III) Rembrandt, Loop, Butterfly and split lighting

 Missed part II? read it here

Depending on where and how you position lights you'll be using different lighting set-ups with different results . Let's go through them!

Rembrandt lighting. It borrows the name from the famous Dutch painter who created and used this technique in his paintings. The Key light is on one side of the camera at a precise degree and height in order to produce the main characteristic of this set-up: a triangle of light beneath the eye opposite the light-source, produced by the shadow of the nose. To soften the harsh light you can place a Fill light on the other side of the camera or you could fill up the shadows by bouncing the key light back with a reflector.

Rembrandt lighting. Move up ant tilt down light for loop lighting

Loop lighting. If you modify the height of the key light in the Rembrandt lighting set-up, positioning it at a higher point and tilting it down a bit, you'll see how the triangle of light will disappear and the shadow of the nose will move from the cheek  all the way down, getting closer to the lips. This is called loop light and it helps to stylize a round face.

Butterfly lighting.  Also known as Hollywood lighting is considerably employed in fashion photography. The key light is placed with the camera in front of the model, high up an tilted down (just like Loop lighting). By this way it models the face and produce a butterfly-shaped shadows right underneath the nose. A fill light or a reflector underneath and pointing up is needed to fill up the shadow under the chin and to brighten the eyes. Because it creates large shadows you should avoid it with subjects with facial hair.

Butterfly or Hollywood lighting

Split lighting. The Key light is placed on one side of the model at the eyes height. It divides the subject in two: a bright side and a side in shadows. Depending on where you position the model the effect will change: if the light stands slightly behind the subject you'll have more shadows, if it's slightly ahead you can brighten a bit the eye in shadow. It highlights textures and produce a sense of strength, mystery and menace; so it is very suitable for male subjects. You can strengthen the mood this set-up creates by adding an equal light-source on the other side of the subject, as I did it in the picture on the left.

Split lighting

All of these lighting set-ups can be used with a single light-source. In the next post we will go through multi-lamp set-ups. Will you miss it?

1 comment:

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