Catchlight Guidance

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bryanwhite, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. bryanwhite

    bryanwhite TPF Noob!

    Nov 19, 2006
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    Portland, OR
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    I am trying to improve my catchlights, but am not finding much information on it. I know my following questions are going to bring back a variety of responses, so I go into this knowing I am asking for opinion, so here goes.

    What is the best source of catchlight?

    What is the best angle from which to project?

    Should the light be bright? Dim? Should you be able to see it on the subject's face as well as reflected off their eyes?

    What other questions should I be asking, and what are your answers?


  2. Azuth

    Azuth TPF Noob!

    Dec 25, 2005
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    Sydney 'strailya
    Catchlight's are a personal thing, you don't mention what your light source is at the moment. If it's bounced flash on camera, you can use a small reflector on the flash to create a catch light. It will show best in the eyes, and can be on any angle probably up to about 70 degrees from straight in front, so long as it's pointing at the eyes.

    If it's natural light, you can still use a flash, or a reflector could work, but likely would give a different effect.

    Should you be able to see it somewhere else? Only if it creates the effect you're looking for.
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Mar 8, 2004
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    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
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    The eyes are just acting like a convex mirror, so any light they reflect will be based on the size, strength, location, and shape of the source(s). On-camera flash is my personal least-favorite highlight. Not only is the light from on-camera flash flat and boring, but the highlight is a small, boring thing right in the middle of the eye that can induce red-eye.

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