5 Types of Portrait Lighting You Must Know (Lighting patterns with just 1 light)

Today once again I am going to talk about portrait photography. This time it’s about some basic lighting patterns or setups that you can use to make your portraits look more professional. They are fairly easy to understand and can be done with just one light source. Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Half Lighting

Half or Split lighting is exactly as the name implies – it splits the face exactly into equal halves with one side being in the light, and the other in shadow. To achieve half lighting simply put the light source 90 degrees to the left or right of the subject, or possibly even slightly behind their head, depending on the person’s face. 

2. Loop Lighting

Loop lighting is made by creating a small shadow of the subject’s noses on their cheeks. To create loop lighting, the light source must be slightly above eye level and about 30-45 degrees from the camera (again the position of the light may differ from person to person). But you must get a nice triangle shadow of the nose on the cheek of the subject.

3. Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt lighting is similar to loop lighting. On the way, I will place my light at a 30-45 degrees angle from the camera. But my light will be way above my eye level so that I get a bigger triangle shadow on my cheek such that it meets the shadow of the cheek.

4. Butterfly Lighting

In Butterfly lighting, the main light source is placed above and directly behind the camera.  Since the light source is above my eye level I get a beautiful butterfly-shaped shadow under the nose. Hence it is called butterfly lighting.

5. Flat Lighting

When you have your light source facing directly at the front of your subject, this is flat lighting. Flat lighting on a face will mean that your subject is well lit and you are unable to see any shadows along their face.

I hope you liked my blog. Do let me know your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!

Also Read – Rule Of Space in Photography

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