Term: Butterfly Lighting
Description:Butterfly lighting is a portrait lighting pattern where the key light is placed above and directly centered with a subject's face. This creates a shadow under the nose that resembles a butterfly. It's also known as 'Paramount lighting,' named for classic Hollywood glamour photography.
Butterfly Lighting: What It Is and How to Achieve It in Your Photography
Butterfly lighting is a popular lighting technique in portrait photography that creates a soft and flattering effect on the subject’s face. This technique is named after the butterfly-shaped shadow that is created under the subject’s nose. Understanding the key elements of butterfly lighting and the techniques involved can help you create stunning portraits that stand out. In this article, we will explore the tips and techniques for achieving butterfly lighting in your portraits.
Understanding Butterfly Lighting
Butterfly lighting is a technique where the light source is placed directly above and slightly in front of the subject’s face, creating a small butterfly-shaped shadow under the nose. The technique is achieved by placing a light source at a 45-degree angle to the subject, slightly above eye level. The result is a soft and flattering effect that adds depth and dimension to the subject’s face.
Setting Up Butterfly Lighting
To achieve butterfly lighting, you will need a light source, such as a studio light or natural light source. You can use a three-point lighting system, consisting of a key light, fill light, and hair light, to achieve butterfly lighting. The key light is positioned directly above and slightly in front of the subject’s face, while the fill light is placed on the opposite side to fill in any shadows. The hair light is placed behind the subject to separate them from the background.
Techniques for Achieving Butterfly Lighting
Butterfly lighting can be achieved using both natural and artificial lighting. To achieve butterfly lighting using natural light, you can position the subject facing a window or door where the light source is coming from directly above. To achieve butterfly lighting in an indoor setting, you can use a softbox or a directional light source, such as a beauty dish, to create the butterfly-shaped shadow on the subject’s face.
Butterfly lighting is a popular lighting technique that can create soft and flattering portraits. Understanding the key elements and techniques involved in achieving butterfly lighting can help you create stunning portraits that stand out. With the right equipment and techniques, you can master butterfly lighting and create portraits that capture the mood and emotion of your subject. Experiment with butterfly lighting to create soft, flattering, and memorable portraits.
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