Light is essential for all kinds of photography but while talking about the Portrait Photography lighting it is important to understand the real significance of light behind it. The light not just brightens the whole appearance but can be used for added effects also. The light can be natural like the one coming from the sun or it can be adjusted in the studios as per the requirement. Portrait Photography lighting is a great tool to highlight the human features in the photographs. There are numerous techniques and types used in the portrait lighting but the most commonly used are ones mentioned below:
- Three-point lighting is the most basic category of lights that is used to bring out even the minutest feature of the individual subject. The number of light sources used in this case is either three or four. This light plan further uses the following sub categories:
Key-Light or the main or focal light is adjusted on one side of the subject. The general dimensions of the light are such that it is placed at a distance of 30 to 60 degrees from the central location and is elevated slightly above the eye level. This kind of light is used for highlighting the facial region of the subject. This is based on the principle of light as stated in the science that the white is reflected while the black is absorbed. The creation of shadow is very common which is controlled with the help of a special light called the fill light.
Fill-in light is a recent feature that is used for controlling the contrasts and the shadows that are created because of the central light. It is also used to adjust the lacking in the light.
Accent-Light, as the name indicates is used for the purpose of accentuating the features or some special features of the human subject. There are several types of accent lights like the spotlight. These are used to create special effects during the photography.
Kicker falls in the category of accent lights. It acts like a back-light when the shadow of the subject is required.
- Butterfly lighting is the collection of two lights in which one light is added in the front of the subject while the other is placed a little higher than the camera. In some cases the light on the top can also be added to a particular side of the subject as per the requirement. The rim light is the second important category of the butterfly lighting. There is sometimes a dire need of fill light and for this the reflector is required. It is the most favorite lighting in the Hollywood.
- Accessory lights are added when the photographer feels that he needs some extra lighting effects. They can be placed anywhere but the most common use is in case of the backgrounds.
Background lights are the most important element of the accessory lights but they are rarely used as Portrait Photography lighting. They are used to improve the features of the background. This kind of lighting is very important in portrait photography lighting as it highlights the features that cannot be highlighted otherwise.