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Portrait Lighting Styles -Butterfly Lighting

Another of my ‘why not try this at home’ posts given that most of us are in lockdown. You’ve got me (un retouched – I could make myself look like George Clooney but it would take days of Photoshop work and life’s too short) as no-one in our house is keen on being photographed because it’s been weeks since any of us saw a hairdresser. This shot is straight out of camera. It’s in black and white so you can see the light pattern more clearly.

Butterfly lighting is so called because of the shadow it creates under the nose. It’s often used for glamour shots and suits people with defined cheekbones and slim faces. It’s also more flattering for, shall we say, older subjects as it emphasises wrinkles less than sidelighting. So, of course, I don’t need it😉

I placed one light directly above and behind the camera and if you look at my eyes you’ll see not only the catchlight from the light source in the upper part of the irises but also the reflection in the lower part from the silver reflector that I was holding. I held the reflector to bounce some light back and reduce the shadows on my neck and under my chin.   

Camera settings were 200 ISO, f8 at 1/125 second with the power of the light metered to suit. Have fun…

If you’d like any free advice with indoor photography (given that this is where most of us are spending most of our time at the moment) message me, give me a ring or drop me an email; I’d be happy to help.


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