Tag Archives: studio lighting

Portrait Lighting – Broad and Short Lighting definition

Examples of Broad & Short Lighting | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6642358_examples-broad-short-lighting.html

Short Lighting
Short lighting involves setting up lights so that the side of your subject’s face or surface that is farthest from the camera receives the most light. This creates the illusion of a narrower, slimmer face and is very useful in portrait photography. The reason for this is that because of the lights’ positioning, the face side nearest appears darker and almost “shadowed,” whereas the side facing away is illuminated. Short lights are also excellent for emphasizing features to create a dramatic floor. If you want to emphasize wrinkles, freckles, a scar, dimples or chiseled features, short lighting is the ideal option. When using this technique, make sure the majority of the face is in the shadow. Remember the key light (main light) is the dominant light source for this dramatic effect. When posing the subject, turn their face toward the light but not so much that the light falls straight on the face as this will wash out the effect.

Broad Lighting
Broad lighting illuminates more of the face—the portion that is facing the camera. This is essentially the opposite of short lighting. This will give the face a fuller appearance and works well when highlighting the subject against a dark background. Have your subject turn their head away from the light, exposing more of the lit face to the camera. This also makes the photo have a flatter appearance; there won’t be many shadowing effects.


Photography : things to read




Broad and Short Lighting

Bowens TV – Face Shaping

Adorama – Using a light meter

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