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One-Light Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 10

Shoot: Short vs Broad Lighting

Dan Brouillette

One-Light Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Short vs Broad Lighting


Lesson Info

Shoot: Short vs Broad Lighting

We're gonna do a couple more right back here on white. So we'll just continue on, I'm actually just gonna leave it on the stand, and we're gonna play with shadow just a little bit more and then we'll move on to the next setup. So we're gonna keep this angle, the background, since he's so close, we don't need to worry about light quite as much because the background's gonna go white either way. We're gonna keep that angle, I'm gonna angle the light downwards so we get that nice fall off so he's a little more evenly lit from head to toe. And we'll do one meter pop real quick, we're still gonna go with F8. That's gotta be too bright. Yep. We'll go down a step. Nine, a little bit more. See, it doesn't even make sense. It's because it's bouncing off everything, so we're gonna, sometimes it's like, I went down 2/10 of a stop and it said I went down 2/3. So we'll call it seven, we'll call it good. We're only off by less than 1/3 of a stop. So what I wanna do now, is I'm actually gonna have yo...

u turn away from the camera, and I'm gonna have you looking back over your shoulder, almost like you're looking towards this light head over here, yeah. So how many of you guys know what short lighting is versus broad lighting? Whoever was not in my class this morning because everybody knows it who was there. Short lighting is when you light the short side of the face, so if we're looking right at Joe right now, our light is coming from camera left, and hitting his face, his nose is turned towards the light. So that means when we're looking at him, there's a short side to his face and there's a broad side to his face. So if I'm looking at you guys, the short side of my face is now this little side, and the broad side is this whole side. So generally speaking, for more flattering light, you're gonna wanna short light people, so light them from the short side, or turn their nose towards the light and that'll be a little more flattering. You can control light that way, a lot of times with guys you can get away with more masculine broad lighting, so we're gonna do both of those right now just to show you the difference. So I'm gonna have you turn just how you are, we already metered so we don't need to do that again. All right, one, two, we're having focus issues here, three. So this is short lit, you can just see how his face falls into shadow over here, ignore the shadow on the wall, we're not really talking about that right now. You can see how his face goes into shadow on the broad side. So he is short lit. Now I'm gonna have you almost look towards the door, a little less, maybe right out in here, yep. So now you'll see how much more light his face will take. So we have, he's more broad lit, so you can see, he can pull that off with his look and it actually fits the wardrobe and everything else, the styling, to have it broad lit, it adds that punch to it. So short light, looking into the light, it just, it slenders the face, it's a little more flattering. But broad lighting, you can see it's wider, the shadow is now on the short side. So it's just different lighting, you gotta really look at your subject and who you're photographing to know what works for them. But knowing the terms will help you be able to explain it and things like that. So I think that's pretty important.

Class Description

It's amazing what you can create with just one studio strobe. Editorial and Award-Winning photographer Dan Brouillette shows how to get amazing and different lighting with the simplest of gear. Whether on-location, or in the studio, he'll use one-light in a variety of different ways to create everything from soft and pretty looks to hard, edgy portraits. While taking advantage of a number of different lighting modifiers, and utilizing just one strobe- you'll have a strong studio on the go for your portrait photography. 


Ryan Redmond

I have mixed feelings on this one. I would still recommend it because the theory and explanations are solid and he gave a wide array of examples that show you the incredibly broad spectrum of results you can get with a given light just by changing distance and position. Having that general understanding of the fundamentals will be very useful. I'm a little bummed that he's using thousands of dollars in lighting for something that felt like it was promoted as an introduction or fundamentals class. I am a hobbyist and I am using speedlight and small softbox or umbrella combos that cost under $100, not 500 watt strobes in 60" softboxes or $1500 strobe and beauty dish combos. It would have been nice to see some examples with more basic equipment. I know the concepts will scale with some practice though, so the class was certainly still valuable.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic little course. I knew a lot of this stuff already but still learned a couple things, too. I love seeing how different photographers explain the same things and Dan was crystal clear and highly effective. Glad I bought this course.


Brilliant course for beginners. Would like to have seen some comparative examples with slightly cheaper gear, but that is for the individual to experiment. The inverse square law theory of light was a great help to me.