Monday, January 18, 2010

Indoor lighting Part 2 continued...

This is a photo of Alex (nearly 10 weeks now!) using the same lighting set up as the photo of Megan. Alex is turned to face into the light so there is a broader lighting pattern across his face. The reason I'm showing this is to give you a quick trick you can use to figure out how any portrait was shot.
Look into his eyes. The reflection shows a larger rectangular catch-light on the bottom (it looks light it's coming from the bottom because I was standing directly above him for this shot) and a small dot of light above and nearly dead center of the eye. You can even see the fill card on camera right. In case your wondering the small spot of light is my on-camera flash sending a radio signal to the speed-lights behind the scrim. This little flash is just enough to set off the others without effecting the lighting on Alex's face.

Combine these facts with the direction of the shadows and you can deduce the light source, it's angle, and my position. Try it, pick up any magazine and study the eyes of the people photographed in it. Take the photos you like and then mimic what you think the lighting was to see if you get the same results. If you try this out please post a link to your results below! Have fun practicing.


  1. Wow that is awesome! Thanks for sharing that info. I can't wait to try it!

  2. I almost reflexivly look into the eyes on portraits I like, for this exact reason. It's like getting a mini-lesson in every photo!