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Old 05-18-2008   #1
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Default Lighting Diagrams

I recently made some A4 laminated cards with basic studio lighting setups printed on them for my camera club so that members could try different styles of lighting on our portrait nights. I thought it might be useful to post them here for anyone who would like to have a go.












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Old 05-18-2008   #2
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

This is a very useful idea especially for people like me who know nothing about studio lighting but would like to learn.
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Old 05-18-2008   #3
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

Thanks, great idea....Now where's Mrs A put her laminating machine !!!!



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Oppssss, Dropped some "K" !!
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Old 05-19-2008   #4
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

A very good idea. Would you be interested in making a pdf that people could download and keep on their harddrive for reference?
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Old 05-19-2008   #5
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

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Originally Posted by Light Currents View Post
A very good idea. Would you be interested in making a pdf that people could download and keep on their harddrive for reference?
I've just done that, If the OP gives me permission I'll post it in the tutorials section.

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Old 05-19-2008   #6
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

Before we start downloading, printing and using these lighting diagrams, there is some mis-information here that should be corrected.

In the first diagram titled "3 Point Lighting" the light on camera right is referred to as a "fill" light. It's not a fill light, In order for a light, in a portrait situation, to act as a fill light it must be positioned on the lens axis so that it fills equally the shadows from the main light. This light creates a second set of shadows on the subject which is usually something to be avoided. This light is a second seperate subject light, not a proper fill light.

This type of setup with one light on each side of the camera, is more commonly used for copying flat art, not for lighting a portrait.

And that third light is pointed at the background so it isn't a hair light, it's a background light.

In the last Lighting Diagram, titled "Paramount of Butterfly Lighting", there is no "Butterfly " shadow under the nose. That's because the main light should be above the lens on the lens axis, not off to one side. Likewise, in true butterfly lighting the fill light or fill reflector should be positioned on the lens axis, under the camera.

Once again, positioning one light on each side of the camera is a flat-art copy setup, not Butterfly lighting or Paramount lighting.
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Old 05-19-2008   #7
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

Fair enuff !!!!


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(Glad it only takes a couple of minutes to convert them to PDF !!! )
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Old 05-19-2008   #8
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

@Brooks, thanks for your comments. You will notice that there are no measurements on the diagrams, that is because they are meant to be a guide, a starting point for experimentation if you like, to get members of my camera club more involved. I disagree with your definition of a fill light being the only definition of a fill light, as will a lot of other photographers but you are entitled to your opinion. The third light is described as a back light or hair light, indicating a choice. The Paramount lighting setup diagram does give a slightly misleading view as the software used only allows for a plan view and positioning one light above the other only left one light visible, remember these were made to be viewed on paper with an instructor available.

@Austen, please feel free to make a pdf file if you wish, although you may now want to take Brooks comments into consideration.
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Old 05-19-2008   #9
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickdonnelly View Post
@Brooks, thanks for your comments. ... I disagree with your definition of a fill light being the only definition of a fill light, as will a lot of other photographers but you are entitled to your opinion.
Mick,

A fill light is meant to fill shadow areas, not create a second set of shadows. Any light that creates a second set of shadows is a second light, not a fill light.

That's not to say that there isn't some room for a creative choice of fill light placement.

For example, a common technique for Butterfly lighting is to place the main light above the lens but slightly to one side. By slightly to one side I mean by only a few inches. The main light is still mostly above the lens but by moving it a few inches to one side you can create some shadow on the side of the nose as well as the signature butterfly shadow under the nose. It's also common in this situation to place the fill light or reflector under the lens but again slightly to the opposite side of the main light.

But, when the fill light is placed far enough to the side that it's not over the lens axis at all it becomes a second light, not a fill light, because it can't see into and fill any shadows on the lit side of the face.
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Old 05-19-2008   #10
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Default Re: Lighting Diagrams

I HATE LIGHTING DIAGRAMS!

OK- ALRIGHT- please don't send me hate mail- I know they come in handy for certain things. The point I am trying to make is that there are so many useless ones out there that can only be counterproductive in really learning the fine points of lighting. Even if the are somewhat correct, they usually don't include the nuances such as feathering the light in fine portraiture. If you are taking a class or attending a workshop and the instructor is demonstrating lighting, diagrams are a good way of making notes but having seen the lighting up close and personal and actually practicing it hands on is what really embeds "seeing light" in your psyche.

Trying to arrange lights by looking at a diagram is like trying to drive your car down the expressway with a road map on you lap and looking at the map instead of driving ahead and keeping you eyes on the road- you would run off the road and crash!

Even if you are placing one light, when you move the light vertically (up or down) or latterly (sideways) there are differences that will be apparent on the subject's face even when you adjust your light in small incremental movements. There is no way to accurately measure this with a tape measure or figure the best angles with a protractor- you gotta SEE the effects.

If you are seriously interested in portraiture on a professional or an advanced enthusiastic level you should take a class or participate in a workshop and get some hands on experience. Once you can SEE light, the books and diagrams will begin to make more sense and better serve as reference notes.

Ed


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