Lighting Andrew's Portrait

I mentioned in Andrew’s portrait post that I had some low battery issues in my main light which caused me to have many pictures where not all of the flashes fired. While I was disappointed that some of the good expression shots were marred by improper lighting, I found it quite instructive as to what each light was doing. So I dug back through the pictures and found a couple shots that I think represent the various lights well. As a reminder, the fully lit and edited shot looked like this:

I covered the lighting scenario pretty comprehensively in the previous post so I’ll just jump into the pictures where one or two of the flashes failed. The following shots are straight out of camera with no raw processing at all.

First up, here is a shot where the main light (to camera right) failed to fire:

This shot had two lights still working — the fill light (a large umbrella high and to camera left) and the hair light (a bair flash set on the floor “above” and to the right of Andrew’s head). It is noticeably darker which is appropriate as the main flash provides much of the illumination. The fill is supposed to provide the base of the exposure — nothing will be darker than the fill exposure. The hair light is supposed to provide just a little kick of light to separate the hair from the floor and skim across the dinosaurs.

Speaking of the hair light, I managed to get a shot where both the main and fill lights didn’t fire. That left only the hair light which looked like this:

Obviously neither of these shots were the look I was going for. But I thought it was an interesting example of what each light was actually doing. A lot of times I have just a rough idea of what I want for lighting and I don’t have a lot of time to test the setup with each light individually so I was happy to have these shots for my own education.

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