Monday, November 14, 2016

Four Classic Lighting Techniques

Television, cinema, video, photography- anything involving cameras- require some thought about lighting. Lighting can be powerful force in conveying feeling, emotion, tension, even danger.

My video production students were challenged in the studio to properly light a classmate in what are termed by professionals the four "classic" lighting techniques: Rembrandt, Split, Broad and Butterfly Lighting.

This tutorial and video help explain each of the four and how the lights should be arranged to achieve each look and effect.

Rembrandt (or 45 degree) Lighting
Key Light- set high at downward angle at a 45 degee angle to the front of the subject
Fill Light- set opposite side of Key Light, even with side of subject’s face
Back Light- set high and behind subject at 45degree angle, same side as Key Light
Models: Lynn McGrier and Kendra Pigler

Split (or 90 degree) Lighting
Key Light- place at subject’s eye level and 90 degrees to the side of the face
Models: Jaylaan Riley and Kendra Pigler

Broad Lighting Use Rembrandt Lighting set up but have subject’s face turned a bit off-center, so the broader side (turned toward the camera) is in the light.
Models: Connie Maybin and Jaylaan Riley

Butterfly Lighting Butterfly lighting is aptly named for the butterfly shaped shadow that is created under the nose by placing the main light source above and directly behind the camera. The photographer is basically shooting underneath the light source for this pattern. It is most often used for glamour style shots and to create shadows under the cheeks and chin. It is also flattering for older subjects as it emphasizes wrinkles less than side lighting.
Model: Lynn McGrier

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