3 Primary Subject Positions | Transcription

We’ve talked about key and secondary light patterns and positions, now let’s talk about the subject’s position in relation to the light. We have basically three common kind of subject placements, or positions, in relation to a light and the first is going to be short lighting. Then we have direct or flat and then we have broad lighting. Each one of these do different things. Because this is probably one of the last videos I can use Anita’s help, I want Anita to come help me. Anita, come out here real fast. I’m going to just put this LED light there. We don’t need that guy.

Okay, so let’s start with direct flat or symmetrical light. Now there’s lots of different symmetrical light patterns that we’re going to show you. We have paramount, we have clam shell with the fill underneath paramount, we have square, we have flat. Those are all examples of basically a flat, a direct or a symmetrical style light. Why is it symmetrical? Because on both sides of the face, it’s on every side. It’s all equal lighting, so we refer to it as basically a symmetrical light.

This type of light is wonderful for creating extremely flattering types of portraits, because again, that symmetrical light is going to light everything evenly, it fills in all the wrinkles, all the imperfections and it creates a very beautiful flat look to it that’s great for beauty and fashion and portraits and so forth. It’s fantastic for showing symmetry in a face and if somebody lacks symmetry, I mean we all lack symmetry to an extent. If you guys actually take a photo of yourself, take a photo, cut it in half and then put the left sides together, then put the right sides together.

You’ll notice that you look like two completely different people with the left sides connected on both sides and then with the right sides connected on both sides. You look very different, it looks scary. We all have a little bit of dis-symmetry to the face but if someone has a lot of dis-symmetry, then what ends up happening is, by using these types of lighting and this type of shot, you’re exaggerating that. You want to make sure that you avoid a symmetrical flash shot in that kind of lighting if the person does not have at least a average symmetrical face, otherwise you’re really doing them an injustice.

Let’s talk about short or slimming type lighting. Now short lighting is basically in reference to the position of the face in reference to the lighting. If I turn my face into the light a little bit like this, okay, so my chin just basically moves toward that light, it leaves the broad side. From the camera right now, the broad side of the face is this side, because the short side is kind of away from us. The short side is what’s lit, and the broad side falls in the shadow. Now, right now we have quite a bit of fill light coming from here, so you don’t see as extreme of shadows but if you look on Olivia’s face, you can see the short side being lit and the left side falling pretty deep in the shadows.

The effect that this has is generally a slimming effect on the face, which you can imagine that for most people, for 95 percent of us, it’s actually going to be more flattering than the opposite. Short lighting has a slimming affect, so that’s why we placed it on this little scale here. As you go to this side, you’re going to slim down the face. Now someone has, most of us want to look a little bit skinnier in photos but if someone has a very narrow face to begin with, you probably don’t want to short light it. You want to either use direct or flat lighting or even broaden the face by using broad lighting.

Here we have broad, which means gain, short, not broad which means gain, but broad equals the effect that it has is kind of gaining or enlarging the face. Short equals slimming the face. How do we position? Well, we have our same key light right there and this time the subject is basically looking away from the key light. The broad side of the face, the side that you see the most of in camera is the side that’s basically lit. The short side of the face is the one that falls into shadow. We see the exact same thing here and you can see, if you compare these two photos side by side, this one is going to be a little more flattering.

It’s going to make Olivia’s face look a little more narrow, a little more slim. This one is going to broaden the face a little bit. Again, 99 percent of the time, 95 percent of the time, whatever percentage you guys like, okay, just a high percentage of the time your short side is going to be the better and more flattering angle to shoot somebody. To remember, the simplest way to think about it is just short means that their chin is facing towards the light and broad means that their chin is basically going away from the light in relation to where the camera is and the light and so forth.

That’s really it. This is going to be one of the last things that we kind of play into when we’re positioning our subject in relation to where our primary, our key light is coming from is considering this and considering the overall effect we want to have on the image. If we want symmetry, if we want to show off and get that beauty and that perfect look, well direct flat and symmetrical light techniques are wonderful. If we want to short and slim the face a little bit to kind of slim down a person’s figure or face, then short lighting is fantastic.

If we want to broaden someone who already has very narrow features and very narrow face, then we would use broad lighting to open it up a little bit.










Total Course Run Time: 8H 17M 4S