"I like is that it creates a rectangular-ish catchlight instead of a round one" ?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by robert_davis|2, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. "I like is that it creates a rectangular-ish catchlight instead of a
    round one"

    This comment was made in a recent thread. It's also been made by
    others. Is this the sort of thing that is only noticed/liked by pros?
    Or am I the only one that thinks round is more natural looking?
  2. By catchlight I assune you're talking about the catchlights reflecting in a persons eyes in a portrait.

    Many portrait photographers seem to prefer a round catchlight, possibly because a round shape echoes the round shape of the pupil or even the eye itself. I've never really understood this preference.

    Commercial shooters, like myself, seem to prefer a rectangular shape to the catchlight in portraits and especially in products.

    I think a rectangular shape is more natural, even in a portrait because it simulates the shape of a rectangular window, a natural source of light in an inside location shot like a studio portrait. In a still life or product shot a rectangular specular reflection seems to be more natural and helps to better define edges by creating vertical and horizontal lines.

    But it could be just personal preference.
  3. what is natural about either a rectangle or a perfect circle? i think this is just one of
    those things that certain people want to obsess over and nothing more.
  4. The sun is round. . .
  5. The page is rectangular...
  6. Does anything in nature come with right angles? Round is a natural shape. I can see wanting something that looks intentionally placed. Or just liking the look of right angles but it just seems out of place in somebody's eye-)
  7. Granted, not much in nature is rectangular, but most windows are, so to me, a rectangular catchlight isn't so bad. Want to see a really weird catchlight? Check out this month's issue of Photo Techniques magazine - the shot on the cover illustrates it very well. Douglas Duber uses three 44" Broncolor light bars, arranged in a triangle, so many of his shots have a triangular catchlight in the model's eyes. There's a picture inside of Dubler shooting through the middle of the triangle in his studio. He certainly got nice colors in the images, but those lights definitely ain't cheap. Best wishes . . .

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