KNOW YOUR LIGHTS
KNOW YOUR LIGHTS WELL
Incandescent and basic flash electronic units are used for portrait lighting. A photographer needs to know their lights well to get desired results.
A low powered light, it just illuminates the background to separate the background and the subject tonally. These are mostly placed on a stand behind the subject. It is out of the view of the camera lens. The lights may be placed on a high stand to be placed on any side of the set, directed towards the background.
FILL AND KEY LIGHTS
These lights need to be high intensity bulbs, that are set in parabolic reflectors. 250 to 500 watts is suitable for a small room, while 200 to 400 watts is a suitable power rating for portrait photography, while using electronic flash. Reflectors are silver coated inside to ensure maximum reflection of lighting, and light assemblies need sturdy support while diffusion is used like soft boxes or umbrellas.
If using undiffused key lights, these should be fixed with barn doors to control the beam width, light up only desired parts of portrait, prevent any lens flares and keep stray light off the lens of the camera.
The fill light should have a diffuser, attached with suitable room between it and the reflector, so that heat has a chance to escape. These should also have barn doors, and it is important to ensure that no light is spilled into any unwanted areas of the portrait scene.
KICKER AND HAIR LIGHTS
Hair and kicker are optional lights. Hair lights are small ones with a sealed down reflector and controlling barn doors. A reduced power setting is used since it is undiffused. These are used to illuminate hair, without any lens flare.
Kicker lights add highlights to the body or face sides, invoking portrait richness and enhanced depth. These are placed behind the subjects, and snoots and barn doors should be used.