Dramatic Lighting In Portraits

One of the most common approaches at Portrait-Studios.net in portrait lighting is to use the softest possible light and to maintain good detail in both the highlight and the shadow areas of the photograph. This kind of lighting usually involves more than one light and the effect is often a highly flattering, idealized look. In this lesson we decided to step away from the standard technique of portrait lighting by attempting to create a more dramatic look.

Creating a dramatic portrait can be a very simple task when you use the right tools. In many cases shooting a portrait with drama can be much easier than a traditional portrait. These types of portraits tend to be more expressive, and may have to tell more of a story in a single image. The basics of lights that are to used as dramatic lighting are :

Hardness of light
Bright sunlight is hard and

* creates dark, clearly defined shadows that can hide the face
* emphasizes wrinkles and blemishes
* causes unattractive squinting

Light from an overcast sky or a north window is soft and


* creates soft shadows that don't hide the face
* minimizes wrinkles and blemishes
* reveals subtle skin tones and hues
* allows the subject to open his or her eyes wide

Direction of light

The direction of sunlight, especially hard sunlight, changes how people look. Which direction is best? That depends on the effect you're trying to achieve.

* Front light: Harsh sunlight shining directly into a person's face flattens the face and causes squinting.
* Overhead light: At midday, the sun is overhead and casts unpleasant facial shadows. Use the camera's flash to lighten harsh facial shadows.
* Side light: Early and late in the day, position your subject so the sun strikes only one side of the face. With one side of the face brightly lit and the other side in shadow, you will create a dramatic effect. To reduce the shadow effect, use fill flash.
* Back light: Occurs when you position your subject facing away from the sun. This places your subject's face in shadow, eliminating squinting and often adding an attractive glow to hair. Use fill flash to lighten your subject's face.

Hence by the above ways you can create lights dramatic with the help of our guide at Portrait-Studios.net.