On yesterdays portrait photography lesson, we practiced four ways of lightning on a model’s face:
- Butterfly lighting – this type of lighting, made famous by Paramount Studios, can be recognised by the strong light falling on the forehead, the bridge of the nose and the upper cheeks, and by the distinct shadow below the nose which often looks rather like a butterfly. Butterfly lighting was a favourite of famed Hollywood portraitist George Hurrell. We reproduced it by placing the light directly in front of the model but above the camera.
- Loop lightning – it could be described as a slight variation of the Butterfly lighting technique, but we slightly lowered the light and we moved it a bit further to the side of the model. Therefore, producing a small “loop” shadow on the subject’s face that starts from underneath the nose and pulls down toward the subject’s mouth.
- Closed-loop lightning – a variation to loop lightning but while in loop lightning the nose shadow does not connect to the cheek shadow, in this example the nose and cheek shadows merge.
Rembrandt lighting – the name comes from the famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt, who used this style of lighting extensively. It is characterized by an illuminated triangle under the eye of the subject, on the less illuminated side of the face.
Can’t wait next Sunday!