The height of the key light may need to be adjusted to better fill deep set eyes Larger softer light will be able to do this without causing the nose shadow to become distracting.
Sometimes when power or time limitations are factors, one light will do the work of both Key and Fill. Experiment by adjusting the distance between the light and your subject to achieve the balance between your key light and the ambient light. Necessary height of your stand and possibly an exposure change to your camera as you adjust position of the lights. Perhaps your situation calls for a more or less powerful bulb or a different fixture.
After setting the Key light, you may find that the darker side of the face is too dark for your tastes. In the setup shown in the viewer at the beginning of this lesson, we chose a Rifa-lite 44 soft light, with a 250-watt bulb, with a soft Egg Crate to control the spill. The amount of Fill that is added depends on your taste (or the preference of the person who hired you). Keep in mind the 'look' you are attempting; especially if you are shooting something that is dramatic. In fact on some soap operas the main difference in lighting between a daytime interior scene and a night setting is they drop the Fill almost all together and light the background a darker than normal.
More commonly, you may begin to consider light placement positions near the camera to hide the shadows behind the subject or more off to the opposite side from the Key light. (you only need to worry about what's in your frame). Always look closely at your shot to see if your lights are creating unintended consequences.
. A specular reflector (the shiny hard side) will kick back nearly as much light as the Key light shining on it, in the same degree of hardness that strikes it. . A specular reflector (the shiny hard side) will kick back nearly as much light as the Key light shining on it, in the same degree of hardness that strikes it.
, and is often widened to include a subject's shoulders. Working with Hair light gets trickier with receding hairlines, and may be done without in that situation. , and is often widened to include a subject's shoulders
Along with the amount of Fill light you use, you can continue to add finesse to the lighting to reveal the subjects form by using light from angles beyond what you use for the Fill. Both Hair lights and Edge lights fall into this category. In the nineteen seventies the extreme backlight was the rage. Find a glamour photo from the era and it will likely have a . If this is what you're after, just try to keep the light far enough back so it doesn't start your subject's hair on fire. and only want to play with adding a subtle edge to the side of the head and neck. . Wave your hand in front of the light and see if a shadow falls on the camera. With the advent of modern cameras there is less need for the really heavy use of hair light unless it is to appear as motivated or logical in the scene. Watch for programs done in film or HD and notice how natural these highlights are compared to older video programming.
Similar in practice to Hair light, it is , for example a dark jacket from a similarly dark background.
You may hear them referred to as kickers, liners or edge lights. . You provide a clue to the viewer where the subject leaves off and the background begins. If you have decided to use little or no fill an edge of some sort can enhance the dramatic effect. To experiment with these effects start with small fixtures and keep an eye on the shadow from the subjects ear. It is popular to have a light edge along the jaw line. Try hard sources at different distances and angles. Try using a small light with an umbrella or with a diffusion gel.
Often the function of the light is fulfilled by more than one fixture at a time.
How you deal with backgrounds depends on whether it is part of the story or just a neutral setting for your subject. Either way you may notice the background level is usually down, or less bright than the subject. However it is not unusual to highlight something in the background for interest. A plant or dim lamp is a common set dressing. If you look at the Setup shot in the Viewer, you will see the cookaloris, tho' the Pro is hidden from view by the Rifa Key light.
The hard light character of the lamp created a sharp shadow.
HISTORYhe original concepts of contrast and light angles were often influenced by the lightcoming in from a windowur modern soft light is an attempt to emulate the classic north-light window look
KEY LIGHTrimary or dominant source of light in a shotften suggests an out of frame sourcehe choice of fixture (hard or soft) and its position will help set themood of the shot
Soft Key Lightreates the shadow line runningdown the cheek Full lighting with Soft Soft light Rifa with KeyRifa 88, 1000W fabric egg crate
Hard Key Lightramatic transition between light and dark areasembrandt Lighting- when key light is positioned so there is a lighttriangular patch under the near eyeas a slimming effect on the subject Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, c. 1658/1660 Full lighting withPro-light, 250W hard keyFocusing Hardlight
Key Light Techniqueshe nose shadow is easier to see with hard light but blends more attractively with larger soft sourceind the angle and height for your Key light that places shadow along the crease between nose and corner of mouthlace light so nose shadow is nearly gonehen light is directly in front of the subject, the shadow line on cheek will disappearringing the Key light face-on reduces wrinkles (makeup also effective) • Slimming effect Bad Nose Shadow Reduced Nose Shadow Hatchet Lightingatchet lighting- when shadow line runs down center of face • Can be dramatic effect when paired with little or no fill lighting or some edge lights
Simple Light Setupsne light will do the work of both Key and Fillsecond small light from behind adds a little shine to hairand adds a finishing touchsmall hard source can be used to see where the shadowsare Single light (Omni-y adding an umbrella increases the relative size of the lightsource so softness increases light 500 W) with umbrella, positioned to function as Key light, with enough softness to also act as Fill light. Result of One light Source
Fill Lightightens shadows and controls contrast ratios (the ratio of amountof Key to Fill light)ombined with the Key light, Fill light defines the mood by lightingthe shaded areas in a range of intensitiesan vary from none, to a level equaling the Key light
Fill LightAnytime you are treating theside left shaded by the Key lightyou are working on the FillYou can most easily alter themood of a shot by raising andlowering the intensity of the Fill Fill light alone Rifa 44, 250W Soft light
Fill Light Techniques he Fill adds to the key light when directly over the camera • Fills shadows and still maintains a little modeling on the subject • A less intense light on the fill side is needed ays to lessen light intensity • Adjust key light distance • Add scrims or neutral density gels to the light A ill light is usually a soft source- use an umbrella or a softbox B C- A looks more fully lit, while still maintainingthe Key as the dominant light source. visible shadows to the camera ill shouldn’t add another set of-Reduced Fill in image B increases dramaticeffect.- C has a Fill light that is almost as strong asthe Key, placed in a position so that theshadow the nose throws on the oppositeside of the face, visible to the camera. lower ratio of key to fill Higher ratio of key to Double nose shadow light fill light
Reflected Fill Lightstippled reflector surface will soften the reflected light more and give less chance ofsecondary shadows.sing a matte white card will provide a very soft reflected fill at close range.egative fill- used in highly reflected rooms • done by hanging a dark cloth or piece of black foamcore on the fill side to prevent stray light from providing too much fill Specular reflector bouncing soft key light to create fill
Hair Light light from behind the subject, often weakerthan the Key or Fill, aimed at the head &shouldersay also be called a backlighteparates subject and backgrounddds highlights & shine to hair
Hair Light Techniqueslaced directly opposite camera Hair Lightreates highlights and gives shine to hair Alonemall hard lights will make small hard lines and edgesarger sources provide an even, gentle wash Rifa 44, 250W Soft light strong back light blasted directly at the back of the headcauses hair to glowon’t shine any in front of the lens, causing lens flare
Edge Lightight from behind the subjecteaker than Key or Fillreates an edge of definition between subject and backgroundorm of backlight normally used to define one dark object fromanother
Edge Light Techniquesreates subtle defining edges, and line-like highlightselineate the edge of your subjecteparates subjects dark hair or jacket from a similarly dark backgroundimed in the direction of the camera Edge Light L-light, 100W Alone
Background Lightsed for lighting background of set as a whole or specificareasights objects in background of set significant to imageeparates subject and backgroundossible to use multiple background lights
Background Light Techniquesor the setup used above, a mottled shadow pattern on the background was created byshining a hard light through a cookaloris (a random pattern cut into wood, foamcore, orblack foil).t was lit by a 250W focusable Pro-light, a hard sourcey the time youve put up your Key, Fill, Hair and Edge lights you might have light bouncing offthe walls and ceiling lighting up the background too much. You can try turning off any roomlights, or by adding distance between the subject and the background. In combination withthese is the ability to control the lights youve placed in the setting.Setup with cookaloris patternPro-light, 250W Setup with cookalorisince large broad sources tend to spill on the background consider using an Egg Crate on any patternsoftlights you use. Other lights should all have barndoors to direct light only where itswanted. You can finesse more by specifically flagging spilled light from where you dont want Pro-light, 250Wit.
Slash Accentlash of light made by putting two barndoorsclose together on a hard light sourceocusing the light to flood will give a largerand more consistent output level to theslash Set up with slash accentou can mix the slash with generalbackground fill, making it less prominent, oruse the slash accent alone in a darkerbackground to increase effect Omni-light 500W focusableoloring the slash with a gel is also common
Highlight AccentHighlights and object in the setting n this shot, a tiny L-light with 100 Watt lamp is directed to place a small pool of light on the flowers and the picture frame he result looks like it have could come from track lighting or a recessed ceiling light, adding to the natural feel of the effect. AccentL-light with 100W lamp
Color background popular technique used in media to give the background a more theatrical effect.It provides a contrast of color and feel between the environment and the subject. barn doors were used on the fixturen this shot, we added red gel to an Omni-light, to trim any spill that may fall on thefocused wide enough to cover the background subjectarea of the shot Omni-light 500W focusable