7 methods and effects of lighting at different angles

Some amateur photography friends have never learned to light, and occasionally have the opportunity to get a job that needs to use a variety of lighting equipment. Although there are lamps in hand, they may also know nothing about this, which naturally greatly affects the subsequent shooting process. If you novices want to know more about lighting, you can see that photographer Lauren Haroutunian has demonstrated seven methods and effects of lighting from different angles, which are quite practical and can be understood immediately!

1. Positive light

When the light is directed at the person at a horizontal angle, the shadow position of the five features is not obvious. If the light angle is adjusted upward, the chin, nose and other parts will appear shadow. These two methods are “front light” lighting methods. You can determine the lighting position according to your needs.

In addition, the light can be slightly adjusted to the top to increase the shadow of the chin and nose.

2. Toplight

Many friends may have the impression that lighting is placed in front of the character, with a slight side angle or a backlight at the back. In fact, there is another method called “top lighting”. If this kind of lighting is used, the head, nose and forehead are bright enough, but the eyes, cheeks and other parts are darker, highlighting the mystery.

3. Backlight

Try to light the model from the bottom angle. You should be able to predict the effect, so that the face and facial features are very clear, but the top of the head is dim. I feel a bit ferocious from this view, but if you want to take pictures on Halloween, you might as well try it.

4. 45 degree angle light

In this method, because the portrait is not lighted in front, more shadows can be shown while illuminating the face, such as the nose of the right face, which forms a slight contrast between the two faces. At the other end of the light-receiving face, there is an inverted triangular bright area, that is, Rembrandt lighting (also known as triangular light and Rembrandt light).

5. Sidelight

Move the light continuously from a horizontal angle to see the changes of light and shadow details on the face of the portrait. Try to light the model from the side, which will highlight the strong contrast between the bright position of one face and the dark position of the other face, showing a different effect from the 45 degree angle of the front.

You can see the difference between the two faces:

6. Marginal light

Then try to adjust the light to about 45 degrees behind the character. Many films have adopted this method to make the light focus on only a small part of the face on one side of the model, while other parts such as eyes, nose, mouth, etc. still remain in the dark position, which feels more mysterious.

In the shooting scene of the film demonstration, the light angle is diagonally placed behind the camera and the main body.

Only a small part of the positions are bright, and most of them are dark.


7. Backlight

Finally, put the light completely behind the model, and shoot the backlight effect. Only the edge position shows light, but the five facial features on the face are dark. Speaking of “backlight”, many friends may be afraid of it, but it is actually another way to express the taste of portraits. Let’s try it next time.

Of course, the seven lighting methods described above generally need to be combined to show better results.