The portrait lighting 101 assignment will teach you how to use both natural and artificial (FLASH) lighting sources to create professional looking and beautiful portraits.
Portrait photography is one of most common forms of photography.
Portrait photography, which is also called, more often than not, portraiture, is the art of capturing a subject (in this case, a person or a group of people) in which the face, facial features as well as facial expressions are made predominant.
The portraiture photographers aim is to focus on the person’s face. They aim to give emphasis on the face of the person because this will also be the focus or the emphasis of the photograph. This does not mean, however, that the person’s body or even the background will no longer be included. Under portrait photography, these can still be included in the photo by the portrait photographer but again, the focus or the emphasis should be on the person’s face, facial expression and even distinct facial features.
There are no boundaries or rules when it comes to portrait photography. Truth be told, that’s what makes portrait photography easy and difficult at the same time! Easy because just about anybody with a point and shoot camera can do a portraiture but difficult because when you need a professional portrait taken, you must rely on professional portrait photographers…That is YOU!
NATURAL LIGHT versus ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
Learning the techniques for both styles of portrait lighting are invaluable. the ability to take your subjects both into a studio and outdoors allows for a true mastery of light. After all that’s what photography is, controlling light, capturing reality and imagination. When capturing portraits, one of the first decisions you need to make is what kind of light you want to use. Some photographers prefer using natural light. It’s no-nonsense, relatively easy to work with and it can produce excellent results. Other photographers opt instead for using artificial light, oftentimes trying to recreate a somewhat natural look, but with more flexibility than you have when working with available light. After all, the sun doesn’t produce great light all the time. Each approach has its pros and cons and are viable options for portraiture.
The natural light portraits will be taken using a 5-1 reflector. You will bounce light using the gold, silver, white or black surfaces. There is also a diffuser that allows you to face the sun and soften the light on your subject.
The use of FLASH photography will allow you to control light with precision and create mood and emotion with ease. This will be available using both portable flashes and in class studio strobe flash heads.
PORTRAIT LIGHTING STYLES
There are FIVE major portrait lighting styles we will cover. SPLIT, LOOP, BUTTERFLY, REMBRANDT, & MONSTER.
Like its name, split lighting splits the face exactly into equal halves with one side being in the light, the other in shadow.
PROFILE using SPLIT LIGHTING
Butterfly lighting is named for the butterfly shaped shadow that is created under the nose by placing the main light source above and directly behind the camera.
Loop lighting is made by creating a small shadow of the subjects noses on their cheeks.
Rembrandt lighting is named after Rembrandt , the well-known Dutch painter. Unlike loop lighting where the shadow of the nose and cheek do not touch, in Rembrandt lighting they do meet which, creates that trapped little triangle of light in the middle.
Monster Lighting is shining a light up under the face. Like when you are telling horror stories around the fire, holding the torch in a certain way so that you seem scary.
Using both the natural light with reflectors you will take 5 natural light portraits using your favorite lighting style.
Using the indoor and outdoor flashes you will take 5 artificial light portraits with the five major portrait lighting styles (1 Split, 1 Rembrandt, 1 Loop, 1 Butterfly, 1 Monster)
Combine your favorite portrait lighting styles and take 5 of your best portraits