Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Portraiture With One Light
Shooting a 3/4 portrait with one light
A 3/4 portrait is anything where you cut off the subjects knees.
There are endless ways of lighting this but im going to talk about shooting and lighting this with one light indoors against a backdrop.
The trick is the single shadow. When you cast light on the subject/model, a shadow is going to fall. You dont want this shadow in your shot, so pull the model away from the wall enough so she doesnt block any light from the wall. here’s some examples
Lighting from above: if you hang a softbox like i have always done, bring the model a couple feet from the wall, and position the softbox so it throws a pleasant light on the model and some light on the backdrop as well. There should be no shadow on the backdrop. The light on the backdrop should be about half that of the metered light on the model’s face. just use your best guess. If you wanna meter it, fine. This will also give you a nice fall off of light around the edges of the image frame on the backdrop. You wont need to edit this image. But you need a reflector as well. Put it below the models hips, just above the knees.
Lighting from an angle: if you light from the side or 45 degrees, do the same as above until there is no shadow. throw a reflector in on the opposite side just out of camera frame. use common sense.