Studio Lighting Methods Research.

Research into portrait lighting methods. We’ll be needing these techniques when we do our own portrait photography.

Broad: In the Broad Light set-up, the main light source illuminates the side of the face closest to the camera.

Short: Short light is the opposite of broad lighting, where the face side which is further away from the camera gets the main light.

Spilt: Spilt lighting uses a single light facing the subject at 90 degrees offset where one side of the face it lit up and the other side is in shadow.

Rembrandt: Is a more ‘natural’ lighting method. This is when you use one light or two and a reflector gives a more natural effect.

Loop: The main lighting is angled above the face at 25 – 60 degrees, either a little to the left or right of the model. This lighting creates a shadow in the shape of a ‘loop’ under the nose.

Butterfly: The main lighting is placed above the model’s face at 25 – 70 degreed angle, pointing in line with the face – this makes the shadows ‘equal’ on both sides of the face (this method makes the cheek bones seem higher).

Clam Shell: Is where you use two light sources (either lights or reflectors) one lighting is pointing down above the model/subject and another light below pointing up towards the subject (this effect reduces shadows).

Other lighting terms

Key light – main source of light

Fill light – doesn’t change the the object of the key light but it lighten shadows (controls the contrast)

Kicker – light is placed to the side of the subject

Rim light – illuminating the subject from the back (light is place behind the subject).

Hair light – the light is placed above and behind the model, pointing down to illuminate the hair


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