Basic Lighting Diagrams

Rembrandt lighting

Similar to short lighting. The light must be at a 45 degree angle from the model. The model must should look at the space between the flash and the camera. Rembrandt lighting has been achieved when the shadow of the nose touches the shadow of the check, creating an inverted triangle on the check. Its good to use on people with full or round faces but not narrow faces. Some photographers insist it is a masculine technique.

Split Lighting

Split lighting is where the flash only illuminates one side of the face creating a dark side of the face and a light side of the face. To do this just have the flash pointing at one side of the face, while the model looks directly at the camera. This kind of lighting is very good for dramatic pictures, but not very good to use for portrait photography.

Butterfly lighting

Butterfly lighting also called loop or paramount lighting is a very flattering lighting technique. It creates a nice even lighting around the models face. A slightly curved shadow shows up under the chin to the side of the face touching the checks. This shadow is only slightly dark. Another butterfly shaped shadow shows up under the nose.

Short Lighting

Short light is type of studio lighting setup, where the face side which is further from the camera gets the main light. see the diagram for details. In this type of lighting setup, the side of the face which is toward the camera gets less light then the side facing away form the camera. The effect you get when using this lighting setup is a thin face, this is why it is good to photograph fat (or chubby) people with a short light setup.

Broad lighting

Broad light is just the opposite of Short light. In the Broad Light setup, The side that is getting the most light
is the side turning towards the camera. This setup is less commonly used for portraits as it tends to make
people look chubby.

Basic 3 Point Lighting



Jonny Mikalsen

I am an enthusiastic amateur photographer with a big passion for photography who loves to take pictures. I’m always aiming to learn new photographic skills and would like to spend more time out in the field or on a photo shoot with my camera.



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Jonny Mikalsen
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