Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reverse engineering light

I am always searching for new sources of lighting. I love to look at photos and try to figure out the lighting technique used for the photo. The hardpart is trying to mimic that lighting with small strobes. Often those photos that inspire were created with expensive lighting heads and modifiers that I don't have available. The great thing about my lighting technique is that it is extremely portable. I can take it anywhere.

So how do you reverse engineer a photo and figure out the light? It is all about the eyes... Look for those catch lights and you will be able to figure out most photos instantly. So what is a catch light? Below is a photo of me taken by me using my home made ring flash. If I hadn't told you what the light was then how would you know...

Ring flash close up

Other than the signature look of the light type we know that this is was lit by a ring light because of the reflection of light in the eyes (catch light). you can see a ring shape reflection and well you would guess that the photo was lit by a ring light.

So with this tool under your belt watch for catch lights and see what you see.

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