Studio Lighting: Part 1

Hello everyone! This week in my Advanced Advertising and Illustration class we learned about two different types of studio lighting: specular lighting and diffused lighting. In this week’s blog I will be focusing on specular lighting.

For the first assignment of the class, my professor gave us an exercise dealing with a specular and diffused light while photographing a styrofoam head. Along with working with two different light sources my professor wanted us to move the light to achieve four different lighting techniques. The four different techniques are Rembrandt Lighting, Side Lighting, Butterfly Lighting and Silhouette Lighting.

A specular light is round in shape, allowing for a small light source. Because of the small light source, the light produces harsh shadows and bright highlights on the subject being photographed.

Rembrandt Lighting is also known as 45 degree lighting. It can be achieved with one or two studio lights. For this exercise I was only allowed to use one light. By placing the light at this angle, a little triangle of light will appear on the shadow side of a model’s face if you are photographing a person. In my case I had a triangle appear on the side of the styrofoam head.

Side Lighting is also known as 90 degree lighting. It can be achieved by placing a light at roughly 90 degrees to the camera. By placing the light here half of the subject, styrofoam head, being photographed will be in shadow and half of it will be in light.

Butterfly Lighting is also known as paramount lighting. It can be achieved by placing a light in front of the subject, styrofoam head, being photographed. The light must also be placed both above the subject’s face and centered to their face. By placing the light here you make your subject look slimmer.

Silhouette Lighting can be achieved by placing a light behind your subject, styrofoam head, and allowing little to no light to be in front of your subject. By placing the light here you make the subject in to a shadow completely and the background completely lit up.

For this exercise I still have to photograph the head the same four ways using a diffused light. I will keep you posted with my completion of the exercise in next weeks blog. I’ll talk to you all next week!

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