Fovitec- 5 Simple Photography Portrait Lighting Tricks to Try
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5 Simple Photography Portrait Lighting Tricks to Try

Posted on October 16 2014

Studio lighting is not just for the professional photographers and videographers! At Fovitec, we strive to bring affordable photography and videography lighting to all.  If you invest in a basic lighting kit and begin experimenting, it can be easy to achieve professional results. Whether you want to start with CFL Continuous Lighting kits or Strobe Lighting kits, we've got your back! With just a few flashes or continuous fluorescent softbox light kits, it is easy to get started with flattering lighting techniques for portraits. See our blog How To Set Up Your First Home Based Photography or Video Studio Space here for how to get your studio space started.

Self portrait of Rembrandt using the Rembrandt lighting technique. Self portrait of Rembrandt using the Rembrandt lighting technique. 

5 Portrait Photography Lighting Tricks

1. Rembrandt light – move the light source to about 6 feet high using a tall light stand and at a 45 degree angle from the subject. The goal of Rembrandt lighting is to create a small triangle on the unlit side of the face while the other side is evenly lit. This is a more dramatic lighting technique. Rembrandt famously lit many of his paintings this way.


2. Clamshell lighting - place two softbox lighting sources on either side of your subject at the same angle at an equidistance. Power the light sources equally. The goal of clamshell lighting is to have even lighting on both sides. If needed, use a reflector or bounce card to bounce the light under the subjects chin. Have the subject hold the reflector or use a reflector arm. This lighting technique provides a lot of clarity and detail in the photograph.



3. Backlighting – light the front of your subject as desired. Backlight is used to separate the subject from the background which is especially useful when the subjects hair color is close to the background color. Place a small light hidden behind the subject about 3 feet away to create this look. Snoots, grids, and barndoors are great for creating this effect.

Backlighting helps illuminate the hair.Backlighting helps illuminate the hair.


4. Rim lighting – this is used to create an outline of light around your subject in a very dramatic way. Place two light sources slightly behind the subject and facing towards the camera. Watch for lens flare. A lens hood can help prevent lens flare.Rim Lighting creates a rim around the whole subject. This does not have to be a thin line, but can highlight more of the subject as well. 

Rim Lighting creates a glowing effect                                                          Rim Lighting creates a glowing effect.


5. Slit lighting – light the subject from one side of the face only creating a hard shadow on the unlit side of the face. This technique is achieved when there is a line down the middle of the face separating light and dark.




1 comment

  • Contact Lenses: August 18, 2015

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