Presentation on theme: "Paramount & Rembrandt Lighting Photography – Lighting Communication Technology 3205."— Presentation transcript:
Paramount & Rembrandt Lighting Photography – Lighting Communication Technology 3205
Types of Lights Before you get started with your studio course, you need to understand the basics of lighting. There are four basic lights that can be used in isolation or in conjunction with each other. These four lights are: KEY LIGHT FILL LIGHT BACK LIGHT HAIR LIGHT There is also a reflector, which can replace the fill light.
Key Light The key light is the main light and should – as a general rule – be twice the power of the secondary or fill light. The purpose of the key light is to illuminate the subject. In essence, it replaces the sun. As such, the key light should be positioned so that it is slightly higher than the person, whether they are standing or sitting. You should use the lowest setting possible to achieve the desired effect – on other words, if you have the key light turned up too bright, the subjects will likely be washed out and harsher looking. The lower the setting, the more soft and subtle the look.
Fill Light The fill light is positioned opposite of the key light as shown and is generally one-half the power of the key light. The purpose of the fill light is simply to fill in the shadows created by the key light. The one stipulation for the fill light is that it cannot remove all of the shadows. The purpose is to reduce or soften the shadows – not eliminate them. The fill light should be positioned at eye level. For a change, a reflector can be used instead of a fill light – the use of a reflector creates more shadows and can add an interesting look or mood to your photograph.
Back Light The back light is typically positioned behind the subject and is directed towards the backdrop. If the subject s too small or too narrow, the backlight can be positioned to the side and aimed at the background – when using this position it is imperative that the flash be blocked from illuminating the subject. The purpose of the back light is two-fold: First, it is used to eliminate or reduce shadows caused by the key and fill light. Secondly, it can be used to change the colour of the background simply by covering the flash with different coloured gels (this is most effective when a black background is used, as it absorbs the colour from the flash).
Hair Light The purpose of the hair light is to illuminate the hair of the subject. This is especially useful when the colour of the subject’s hair is similar to the background. When the hair light illuminates the subject’s hair, it stands out from the background. The hair light is positioned so that it illuminates the crown of the hair at the back. You need to check to ensure that no light from the hair light is striking the subject’s face. For a change of pace, the back light can be turned around, so it illuminates the subject’s hair from the back – this process is especially effective when used with subjects who have longer, light coloured hair.
Paramount & Rembrandt Lighting The next step in understanding Studio Photography is to know where to position the lights and what to expect in terms of shadows and highlights. There are five basic portrait lighting set-ups, of which we will be learning two: Paramount Lighting Rembrandt Lighting Remember, this is just a starting point, and once you, as the photographer, understand the basics you can always play with positions in an effort to achieve special effects.
Paramount Lighting This lighting pattern (also known as Butterfly lighting) is probably the most flattering light of all the lighting arrangements. Place the subject in a comfortable position with the shoulders at an angle to the camera, and, ideally, have the subject at least 1 meter from the background in order to eliminate shadows on the background. The placement of the key light close to the camera and high enough to give the desired shadow size, offers a flat light that minimizes skin blemishes. The fill light should be placed on the opposite side of the camera, and should be at eye level. The intensity of the fill light should be about half the intensity of the key light.
Paramount Lighting continued!!! The third light, or background light, is used directly behind the subject, or off to the side, and is directed at the background itself in order to eliminate any shadows on the background. It also gives a little separation of the shoulders from the tone of the background itself. The fourth light to be placed is the hair light, which should be placed on the opposite side from the key light. This light gives life to the hair and imparts a feeling of depth to the picture by setting the subject more completely away from the background.
Example of Paramount This type of lighting became a staple for photographers in Hollywood circa 1930s. It’s sometimes called “butterfly” because of the butterfly- shaped shadow under the nose.
Rembrandt Lighting The other lighting pattern is Rembrandt or the Forty-Five style. The key light is placed high and at a 45° angle from the camera. This strong side lighting produces a typical little triangle of light on the opposite cheek from the light. The triangle may be made either large or small, but the edge of the triangle should not fall in the furrow line of the cheek. The fill light is again placed as described for the Paramount lighting. The background light is added last. The hair light again serves to add life to the hair and give depth to the portrait.
Example of Rembrandt This lighting pattern is named after the famous Dutch painter. This type of lighting creates a strong pattern characterized by a small triangle of light that appears under the eye on the shadow side of the face (along with a heavy nose shadow).
The above examples are just that... examples. Be creative and try different poses. One of the best sources for poses are in magazines (Vogue, Vanity Fair, etc). Find some poses that you like and then try to reproduce them with the same lighting as well as different lighting. Once you get the idea, try your own poses. Always check your model’s posture, hair, jewelry, clothes, etc. If it doesn’t contribute to the photograph, get rid of it.