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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #1
Art Rodriguez
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Default Short lighting vs broad lighting

Recently I have read post about short and broading lighting. Can someone explain the difference in the two and post examples. Also, can this be accomplish with 1 studio light? Also, what would be the positioning of the light or lights? I eventually want to get at least one studio light to begin with and would like to learn about lighting before I do. If this has been discussed before please point me in the right direction. I tried a search but gave up Thanks in advance.

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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #2
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

1. Yes 'short' vs. 'broad' lighting can be accomplished with one light...it is merely the side of the face that receives more light that defines 'short' vs. 'broad' . Additional lighting merely helps you to control the contrast ratio of the two sides.

2. Let us assume the face is in 2/3 profile, so that the lens sees more of one side and less of the other side of the face. If the key light falls on the side which is mostly seen by the lens, that is 'broad'. If the key light falls on the side which is mostly NOT seen by the lens, that is 'short'.
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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #3
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

In pictures it looks like this...


Notice how the camera is on the shadow side of the face and see less of the lit side so the lighting is "short."


And on this side the camera is on the same side as the light and sees more of the lit face...You have a "broad" lit perspective.

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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

And before anyone comments on the quality of my photography, blown out parts of my image, need for retouching, poor background choice, etc etc, these were test shots with my new flash unit just experimenting to see how shadows looked with one light and a reflector. As you can see, I didn't place the reflector properly, but they are good examples of the lighting patterns of broad lighting:



and short lit subjects.



I chose to keep my light in one place and move the subject to create short vs broad instead of moving the light... either works!

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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Mighty fine test shots friend! If anyone critiques your examples that you took the time and effort to post, well, to heck with them!!
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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

very good example bwolford, i never known this type of set up... thanks for your contribution.
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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Thank you very much Wilt for your explanation. And also thank you Brice for taking the time to post your illustration and examples. I now have a full understanding of the difference.

How do you determine which method to use? Is it a personal prefrence or does it depend on a persons facial feature?

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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Consiglio View Post
Mighty fine test shots friend! If anyone critiques your examples that you took the time and effort to post, well, to heck with them!!
I totally agree with Jonathan.

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Old 20th of November 2006 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Rodriguez View Post
Thank you very much Wilt for your explanation. And also thank you Brice for taking the time to post your illustration and examples. I now have a full understanding of the difference.

How do you determine which method to use? Is it a personal prefrence or does it depend on a persons facial feature?

Art
Well, generally speaking you are trying to complement a person's face in a way in which the subject feels pleased. So a fuller face you want to 'slenderize' with narrow lighting, and a narrow face you want to fill out with broad lighting.
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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Cheers gang. I don't know how many times I've seen people have posted test shots or examples and been ripped for the photo. Just like to add a disclaimer to justify ignoring those that like to critique even if it's not welcome or necessary.

Wilt was dead on with the reasons for one vs the other. I also try to take a few shots of each with a subject because the "short for round/wide faces" and "broad for thin/narrow faces" rule of thumb can be broken with the right subject. The gentleman in this photo has a narrow face, but big nose, not unlike mine, and short lighting may not be the best option for that situation.

Play around and experiment. As an amateur , I've found the best lessons come from just trying it. The best beginning lessons for lighting came from Joe Zeltsman. The pictures at the link are ancient, but the techniques are universal and timeless ( I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, thus the phrasing). Point is, use that tutorial to experiment and you'll be knocking off good quality images in no time!

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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #11
Art Rodriguez
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Thanks Wilt for the explanation. Brice, I will bookmark the link you provided and read up on it. Now all I need to get is at least one studio light. And when I do, it will be an AB800

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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Art you can start practicing these techniques with natural light and shop lights from Home Depot/Lowes... Won't be as nice, but it's workable.

Don't wait for Santa to get started.

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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwolford View Post
Art you can start practicing these techniques with natural light and shop lights from Home Depot/Lowes... Won't be as nice, but it's workable.

Don't wait for Santa to get started.
Truth!

You can even just use light coming in a window, striking your model's face on one side, then shifting camera (even just your eye, with no camera!) position, to alter camera perspective to see more of the illuminated side of the face (broad) vs. the unilluminated side (narrow)

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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Good examples and good explanations, thanks.
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Old 21st of November 2006 (Tue)   #15
Art Rodriguez
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Default Re: Short lighting vs broad lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwolford View Post
Art you can start practicing these techniques with natural light and shop lights from Home Depot/Lowes... Won't be as nice, but it's workable.

Don't wait for Santa to get started.

Brice
Will have to give that a try.

I like Wilts illustration that he just posted. Thanks Wilt.

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