Loop Lighting from a Butterfly Position

Continuing the discussion of the image of Rachel, you will note that although I used “beauty lighting” (strobe in a beauty dish boomed over camera axis with a reflector under for fill) there is not the expected butterfly pattern under her nose. Instead, you have a loop lighting pattern created with a 1-stop difference between the highlight and shadow side of her face, plus the telltale nose shadow.

The light was actually offset to the right side (camera left side) of her face. This caused the distinctive lighting pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typical use of this lighting setup is to get a flat, shadowless lighting effect with sharp and defined dropoff as you move away from the plane of the face. As in this image:

Not what you were expecting was it? Beauty lighting used on a child.

If you look at the lighting pattern though you can clearly see the butterfly shadow under the nose, the specular highlights on the planes of the face, and the light falloff.

The only difference between the 2 images is the position of the subject in relation to the light. It wasn’t even that drastic of a move – maybe 6 inches to one side. But note the huge difference in the result of the lighting.

I used this image, and the discussion regarding the image of Rachel, to illustrate the variety that can be achieved in both changing the orientation of a lighting setup by altering camera or lighting position slightly in relation to the subject, as well as using a particular lighting technique for an unexpected subject. Both can add variety and spice – and a different look for your images.

This entry was posted in Photo Shoot, Technique.