some input on lighting

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by mark4583|1, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. just looking for some input on the lighting, not the pose, told her to sit there for a few minutes so you will have to excuse her weekend attire. what needs improvement ? Thanks

  2. Please don't be offended, what you have here is a mug shot with a fancy background. Flat, even lighting, it doesn't add character to the photo. Your lights are too close to the camera, thereby showing 2 catch lights in the eyes, there should only be 1. Spotting out the less dominate catch light will make a big difference. Put a little more distance between the subject and the background so that the bkg is softer in focus and a little darker, that way it won't compete with the subject. Your lighting ratio should be a minimum of 1:2, depending on the subject you can go all the way to 1:4. In a formal portrait, women should always have a little to a lot of soft focus diffusion, IMO the Zeiss Softar type is the best, it is made by several filter brands and is a lot cheaper than the Zeiss. Don't misunderstand me, your photo is very good for a basic headshot used in an annual report or church directory, I've done hundreds. As I was learning more about portraiture I studied Yousuf Karsh and Dean Collins plus Kodak had a series of excellent booklets for the portrait photographer.
  3. I think you did a very good job, given the Day-Glo Green shirt. The subject is well lighted and has good detail, There is a catch light in the eyes and on the teeth. The skin tone looks good.

    I think you need more separation between your subject and the background, which is quite "busy" - especially the reddish-brown vegetation in the upper left hand side of the frame. It tend to draw the eye away from your subject. Of course the bright green T-shirt draws the eye back, but not to the face.,

    But for an informal portrait, it is a nice job.
  4. Hmmm. Seems as though I know some men who might benefit by a little soft focus diffusion and some women who might not need it. Some stuff that’s photo historical is well worth learning and some is well worth reconsidering, at least in terms of specifics.
  5. Nope not offended, what I was looking for, I also thought it was flat and as you said like a mug shot, Im used to doing every thing outside in natural light and natural backgrounds, so change the light ration and more space from background. I will start there , Thanks
  6. Do you have a 3rd light to use as a rim- / hair light for better separation?
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Lighting is too flat, subject is too close to background.

    > both of the lights are too close to the lens axis; move one out farther off axis (it appears your intended Key Light is Camera Left, then move the Fill Light wider off-axis)
    > move Key Light a bit closer to increase the Lighting Ratio
    > with only two lights, raise the Fill Light (height), it will act as a (little) Kicker Light to the front of the hair
    > it appears you (could be) getting too much Ambient Exposure which is adding to the Flat Lighting effect (the shot was pulled at F/5.6 @ 1/100s @ ISO64 - what was the Ambient Meter Reading of that scene?)

  8. just the modeling light from a AD600/AD200
    both lights were about 7 ft away and abut a 45deg angle from subject, camera was front and about 10-15ft away
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If that means the only Ambient Light in the room was from the two modelling lights, then those modelling lights would not affect the final exposure.


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