Sunday, March 13, 2011
Portrait Theory: Single Light
Photographic portraits that aim to emulate classical paintings are usually made with a single light source. Complexity and nuance are enhanced by using flags and reflectors to shape the light. This portrait of model Trisha Bradshaw was lit by a single Calumet Quattro beauty dish with a shower cap diffuser.
A new find for me, LightingDiagrams.com, provides an online tool for creating, you guessed it, lighting diagrams. I thought I'd give it a try for this series.
The Quattro is angled to skim the gray ultra-suede background. A mirror opposite the main light and behind Trisha creates the rim lighting. A black foam core square behind Trisha flags the background and adds a geometric element. The camera, a Nikon D700 and 105mm lens, is about six feet away, angled very slightly up.
Not that Trisha needs it, but this style of lighting has a slimming effect on the face because the shadow side is toward the camera and the rim light adds to the 3D illusion.