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Table of Contents
                            Introduction
Light Sources and Gear
	Three Types of Light
	Basic Lighting For Any Budget
	Light Stands
	Lighting Modifiers
	Starting Points
	Backgrounds
	Light Meters
Portrait Lighting Basics
	Lighting For Faces
	The Five Basic Lighting Patterns
	Flat vs. Dimensional Lighting
	Background and Environment Considerations
	What Else Makes A Good Portrait?
DRAMATIC PORTRAIT
	Everything Starts with One Light
	Adding Fill Light
	Adding Hair Light
	Adding Background Light
Side Lighting
	Single Side Light Profile
	Split Light
	Two Side Lights
	Adding Fill Light
	Halo/Hair Rim Light
Full-Length Lighting
	One Light From Above
	Two Lights for More Coverage
	Big Softbox without the Box
	Wall Bounce for Bigger Light
	Another Solution:  Move The Light Farther Away
Lighting for Headshots
	It Begins with One Light, But You Already Knew That
	The Fill Light
	The Hair Light
	The Background
	Clamshell Lighting
	Headshots come in many styles
The White Background
	White Backgrounds Are Easy
	A White Background Isn’t Always White
	The Basic White Background
	Wrap-Around Lighting
	The Light Source As Background
	One Light Can Work
Freestyle Lighting
Conclusion
	Additional Resources
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

1

Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography

Page 2

2

Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography

Lighting Guide
For Portrait Photography

ED VEROSKY

(Previously Titled: Basic Lighting)

Page 58

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Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography • Portrait Lighting Basics

intensity for both parts of the image,
but also where the color of the lighting
is concerned. Be sure to check your
white balance settings on your camera
and adjust accordingly to reproduce the
light in the colors you want.

You may have to use lighting gels/filters
when using flash or make selective
adjustments in post-processing to fix
color balance issues (see Figures 2.13
and 2.14). However, remember that
accurate color isn’t always the most
important consideration. Sometimes
getting the colors that simply feel right
is the way to go. For example, back-
ground ambient indoor lighting (usually
incandescent bulbs) often turns out
warmer or more orange in images than
it appears to your naked eye, while your subject (illuminated by flash) ap-
pears natural. That is sometimes a desired look not requiring any special
changes to be made.

Focus. Imagine a busy background setting, like a busy workshop environ-
ment, where the subject is in sharp focus, but so is everything else in the
shot. This is another way that the background can become a distracting
element rather than an appealing one. By adjusting your camera settings
you can insure that your subject remains in focus while the background has
just the right amount of blur (being out of focus). Larger apertures (e.g. f/1.8
or f/2.8) will narrow the depth of field in your portraits so that your subject
stands out as the clear focus and center of attention.

Figure 2.13. Flash and ambient light mix.
Image has been balanced for flash.

Figure 2.14 Flash and ambient light mix.
Ambient lighted areas have been selectively
altered in post.

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Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography • Portrait Lighting Basics

A good use of depth of field, and creative lighting for both the background
and subject will give your images a better sense of place and dimension.
Figures 2.15 and 2.16 are examples of how depth of field can change the
look of the background-to-subject relationship.

What Else Makes A Good Portrait?
In this book we’re focusing primarily on lighting setups, but portraiture is
about much more than lighting. As you move forward you’ll want to learn
more about things like:

• Which lenses work best for certain types of portraits
• Posing and directing your subject
• Composition and cropping (where

best to crop in a portrait)
• Post-processing and retouching

The creative application of lighting is
the most important thing you can learn
when starting out with portraiture. With
a confident approach to lighting, you
can direct more of your attention to-
ward your subject and spend less time
making trial and error adjustments that
break the flow of your session. This
follows with the standardization prin-
ciple I talk about in other texts; a way
to minimize the guesswork and enjoy
consistent quality by developing and
standardizing your preferred lighting
setups and camera settings. Of course,
finding out what your favorite lighting
setups are begins with exploring sever-
al options. That’s what we’ll do in the
following chapters.

Figure 2.15. At f/4.0, depth of field in this
image isn’t shallow enough to prevent the
background from competing with the sub-
ject.

Figure 2.16. At f/1.8, the background drops
into a more pleasing blur (bokeh) while the
image still retains its sense of environment.

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Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography • Conclusion

I’d like to thank you so much for choosing Lighting Guide For Portrait Photog-
raphy. It’s my sincere wish that it has helped you gain more confidence with your
photography, no matter what level you are at in your career. I’m a firm believer
that learning anything from more than one source is the best way to acquire
knowledge that will sink in and stay with you. So, I ask you to read this book, as
well as others on the subject, and keep learning.


WWW.EDVEROSKY.NET

Thanks to Paul C. Buff, Inc.™ for images provided (Alien Bees and related products). POCKETWIZARD is a
trademark or registered trademark of Lab Partners Associates, Inc. d/b/a LPADesign. Adobe, Acrobat, Photo-

shop, Lightroom and Reader are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in
the United States and/or other countries. Canon and Canon product and services names are the Trademark or

Registered Trademark of Canon Inc. Nikon name/symbol is a registered trademark of Nikon Corporation in Japan
and the USA. Clients and friends have graciously given us permission to use the photos shown. Some photos

may not have been created using the exact method shown, but they were chosen as good representations for the
techniques they illustrate.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Unless supplied as stated above, text and Images Copyright 2013-2014 Ed Verosky

Do not duplicate, or make this copy available on file sharing services.

Conclusion

116

http://www.edverosky.net/blog/free-newsletter/
http://www.edverosky.net

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Ed Verosky’s
Lighting Guide For Portrait Photography • Conclusion

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