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Portrait Lighting

Master a key aspect of portrait photography using natural and artificial lights.

Beginner photographers tend to shy away from portrait photography. It's one of those genres that does require something of a learning curve.

I am happy to report, though, that basic portrait lighting techniques are not hard to learn, once you put your mind to it. And you do have some flexibility - from using all natural light to a single light source to a complete studio setup. Ultimately the choice is yours, but I'm a pretty big believer in learning all you can about all of your options before you make that choice.

This month, I'll take you through not only the gear you'll need, but how to look for and take best advantage of both natural and artificial light. We'll make sure your subject looks great in every shot by covering the key styles of lighting (studio key/fill/back lighting, split lighting, rembrandt lighting and butterfly lighting).

'Portrait Lighting' Course Content

  • Day 1: Introduction to portrait lighting: studio equipment and gear
  • Day 2: Natural light: use windows and open shade to light your portraits
  • Day 3: Mixing natural and artificial light: how to effectively combine flash with sunlight
  • Day 4: Studio lighting basics: Key, fill and back lighting
  • Day 5: Split lighting: create old Hollywood-style drama
  • Day 6: Rembrandt lighting: Golden Age-style portrait lighting
  • Day 7: Paramount / butterfly lighting: de-emphasize wrinkles and blemishes
  • Day 8: Creative lighting techniques: spotlights, painting with light and back lighting
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