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Re: O' where O' where is the glare coming from?

mdvaden wrote:
For me the question or answer may dwell on a 4th light. I've used one light, but prefer two better. I often shoot against black and prefer a rim of light to set the subject apart. But I seem to go too hot on the 3rd light.

Someone previous mentioned getting more light on the subject's right shoulder. I think for this photo the white foam core on a stand was placed closer. And there was room to bring it even another foot closer.

Well, IMO the issue really isn't about adding a possible 4th light, but really about the proper positioning of the lights used.

I hope I won't offend you if I try to analyze the current set up and add my remarks.

To begin with, IMO the main light from the right is positioned too low,as in its current position it creates an almost upwards pointing shadow, so much so that the deepest shadow created it in the eye socket of the subject.
A most unusual place as IMX in portraits lights are usually positioned in such way that the shadow of the pose in pointing downward, and stays away from the eye, in the process creating a what might seem sparkle in the eye (while low positioned light creating upward pointing shadows are more common in old time horror movies like the House of Hammer Cristopher Lee vampire ones).

Based on ' hair light top right angled down and toward the subject' I understand a hair light was used. IMO the effect of that hair light is very, if not too subdued, to say the least. While it indeed illuminates the hair, it does very little to create an light accent, and consequently to separate the sitter from the back ground.

The bare (?) speedlight now used for that purpose (?) is, again IMO, now positioned too low, and despite its low power setting due to the unfiltered output way too harsh.
In its current position it not only separates in a unnatural way by creating a halo type effect, but also in my taste shows the hairs in the neck in too much detail, and does a similar IMO undesirable unflattering job with the ears.

In addition to that, the illumination by the flagged striplights IMO is a bit too visible for an intended fill, not only creating an overlybright shadow, but also unusual and IMO for portraits undesirable light accent on the corner of the mouth and even more 'hot spot' on the nose (although that might also be a consequence of the ill positioned speedlight behind the subject).

While as I stated earlier I nowadays prefer to work with only one light and reflections screens, I in the past have tried my hand using multiple light set ups, although I didn't have the amount of equipment/lights you have at your disposal.

Did some digging in my photographic 'archives' and found e.g. this image I shot as a 1st year photography student in 1980 (or 1981, not sure)

at one of my very first 'serious' model shoots, with a make up/hair artist (we we're actually shooting in her living room) and well prepared styling.

My lighting consisted of two lights, the main light almost frontal slightly on the left, the 2nd one from the top right, somewhat behind the model.
While the main light also is almost on the same level as the model, the nose shadow created is still slightly below it, and the size is quite minimal.

In hindsight I could/should have softened the 2nd light somewhat by adding a diffusion filter like eg a Lee frost gel on it, but as I at that time was still was making my 1st steps into studio photography, I didn't know yet about the existence of that type of filter at that time.
Nevertheless it IMO does a nice job of separating the model from the dark back ground (which actually was a glossy brownish cloth, but got darker due to the distance between the model and the background, and positioning of the lights), as well of creating a light accent on the black hair of the model, without creating a halo.

As perhaps comparing B/W with color might seem a bit unfair, I also include a color image (slide actually, so with very little latitude for corrections at the time I took it) I did took at the time


Oct 29, 2021 at 07:26 AM

  Previous versions of Paul_K's message #15750868 « O' where O' where is the glare coming from? »