Tag Archives: commercial lighting

Portrait Lighting – Broad

20110614 – Broad lighting


During this session, we threw together the setup as shown above.

This three light setup consists of:

  1. The first light is a key light.
    Usually this is the strongest light and this light sets the lighting of the scene.
    We used a medium softbox camera-right, set at half power.
  2. The second light is called a fill light.
    This light helps fill the shadows that the main light casts.
    This was behind the subject, camera-left.
  3. The last light is called a backlight (because it comes from the back), and is used to create a contour and separation.
    It is common to use a snoot or a gridspot on the backlight to avoid a spill.
    We actually just used a flash-head from high up, with some small directional cone…(unsure of name).

An interesting webpage to read might be:


A great video on YouTube is:


The video discusses:

  1. Rembrant – signified by triangular highlight on models cheek, light is 45 degrees off centre, infront of the model, camera left
  2. Butterfly – signified by the butterfly shaped shadow under the models nose, glamorous in appearance, the light is 90 degrees off centre high up pointing downwards
  3. Edge – this is very dramatic, light is the same height as the model, at 0 degrees to centre (same plane as the model)

Portrait Lighting information


I’ve recently signed up to a studio Portrait Lighting course, and the next few blogs will serve as my quick notes each week.


Flickr Group discussing online Lighting Diagram Creator:


Lighting Diagram Creator