Eye Catchlights

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by gian133, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. gian133

    gian133 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South East Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was just reading another post and i saw that someone in critique said that there should not be more than one catchlight in the eyes. I have never really heard this and in pictures i take i have more than one.

    Just wondering if thats a fact or just the opinion of that person. Maybe this could clear it up for others as well.

    Thanks
    -Gian
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    I MOSTLY subscribe to the thinking of one catch light. It is a long-standing convention.

    More so, I think when creating light for portaits, the goal is to make it appear that there is one primary source of light.

    So, for all my studio work, I do spot the catch light created by the fill light. I will often leave secondary catch lights that come off any reflectors I may have used.

    I find a catch light in the pupil troubling.

    When shooting outdoors, I never use a flash fill... so no problem.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with Pete. Most of the time, I think it's best to see only one main catchlight in an eye.

    Everybody is accustomed to the way things look with one light source, it looks natural because there is only one sun. So when we photograph people, it looks more natural when there is one clear, primary light source. Now, of course we often use other light sources; for fill, hair lights, accent lights etc. When these lights show up as specular catchlighs in a subject's eyes, it may not be very natural looking.

    One tip I learned, was to move your fill light as far back as possible, thus minimizing it's size in the subject's eyes. (this goes along with the old standard lighting technique where the fill light is to be placed on or near the camera axis. Many people tend to just move the fill light farther off axis so that it doesn't show up in the eyes.

    Of course, with digital work flow, it's fairly easy to just edit out the 2nd catchlight.

    On the other end of the spectrum, it can look good if there are lots of catchlights (things to see) in the subject's eyes. For example, if you model was facing a wall of windows, they might have a huge varied catchlight, but it might look great.
     
  4. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I will typically subscribe to this as well. I think typically lighting is does to provide a natural look. Or at least., a believable one.

    What I mean by that is when there is only one catch light a person looking at it may inherently think it was by a window or something. It could have been naturally occurring. When there are multiple it is obvious that the light is artificial.

    Many times it is obvious anyway, but by leaving only the one light it still has that bit of believability which I think people unconsciously expect.
     
  5. gian133

    gian133 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South East Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks everyone for the responses.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
catch-lights in everybody's eyes?
,

eye catchlights

,
reading catchlights
,
why only one catchlight??