catchlights and natural lighting

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mjphotofan08, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. mjphotofan08

    mjphotofan08 TPF Noob!

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    Two questions:

    1. How do you acheive catchlights in the eyes?

    2. Any advice on using natural lighting?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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    1. Either with Flash or with reflectors (if not there naturally from the sky, or done in PP)
    2. Yes, it's great - try it! :)

    Seriously, kind of a broad question - anything specific?
     
  3. mjphotofan08

    mjphotofan08 TPF Noob!

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    I figured the catchlights had to do with flash or other type of lighting... but our wedding photographer took engagement pictures a few months ago and only uses natural night, no flash at all, and there were catchlights every time! I was so confused? Does this mean she did it in photoshop.

    As for natural light... I know to shoot about an hour before sunset but how do I know what angles to use? How to I get that sharp, perfectly lighted image every time? (I'm not asking that much, right!?)
     
  4. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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    1 - Interesting. Could have been a natural catchlight - even if the photog was wearing a white shirt.... Also could have been added in PP.

    2 - Haha - wouldn't it be nice to have that answer. Many different scenarios - just read as much as you can. You're right though, the lower in the sky the sun is, the softer the light.

    As for angles, this really depends, many different schools of thought and depends on the conditions. Generally - shoot people when it's cloudy if possible. If that's not possible, get them in the shade, but with sun nearby. If that's not possible, shoot them with the sun over their shoulders and fill with flash.

    People will disagree, as there are different opinions, but this is lighting 101 with many people photogs.
     
  5. mjphotofan08

    mjphotofan08 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, but what about the pictures with the sun creating a lens flare in the background? The lighting must coming from behind the subject...
     
  6. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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    Correct. Sun over your subject's shoulder. You need strong fill flash/reflector to make this work though (unless you want silhouettes).
     
  7. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Catchlights are simply the eyes reflecting some source of light. It can be a window, soft boxes, bounced or more direct sources ... Direct flashes and even those bounced can create tiny little (and, personally, not so attractive) pinlights in the eyes. The light must be defined, though. You can often tell what type of light was used in creating a catchlight...

    http://www.geekinspired.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/catchlights_02.jpg
    - Umbrella

    http://ksnyderphoto.smugmug.com/photos/227122462-L.jpg - window

    http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/009/009g0e-19898284.jpg - softbox

    http://www.noestudios.com/photo/ringlight/res/296_9631.jpg - ringlight

    It's simply taking advantage of the eye's natural ability to reflect and mirror.
     

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