"natural" looking fake catch-lights

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Emerana, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering if anyone had tips for making nice, natural looking catch lights? Its kind of an oxy moron, natural-fake...which is especially so when you are talking eye work. But sometimes my catch lights are too small (esp now I have a 70-200 and use a bounced speedlite) and really need help. But painting on white spots never do it for me, it never feels like it has the reflective quality of natural catch lights. So any tips?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I think that the direction (which side) you put the catch light on is very important. It won't look right at all if your main light is clearly coming from the left but the catch light is on the right.

    So try to see where the strongest light is coming from and put it on that side.

    As for shape, it should reflect the size and shape of the source. But for many shots, you only have a handful of pixels to work with anyway...so just do your best.
     
  3. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Emerana
    There are as many ways of doing this as there are stars in the sky...
    Google is your friend (photoshop catchlight)
    Here's one way - using the dodge tool:
    http://www.all-things-photography.com/adding-catch-lights-to-eyes.html

    Catch lights look best at either 11 oclock or 1 oclock - but depends which direction the light is coming from

    Jedo
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Also depends on what shape catch-light. Catch-lights from a ring-flash or beauty dish will look much different than something like a softbox.
     
  5. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    .. and where the catchlight is a reflection of the photographer...

    Jedo
     
  6. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    Why not just use a larger, more diffused light source and photograph your subject closer to it? Nothing, in my opinion, needs to be faked if you do it right in the first place.
     
  7. mr_baseball_08

    mr_baseball_08 TPF Noob!

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    Another option is to take a photo you already have, that you think have really good catch lights. And copy those into a "shape" folder in Photoshop and you'll always have them when you need them..
     
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