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Light, vibrant and malleable, is the greatest tool at the disposal of portrait photographers. In this acclaimed book—with over 50,000 copies in print—Christopher Grey walks you through studio portrait lighting from start to finish. Dozens of image sequences and before/after pairings show you precisely how each change of light position and modifier affects the look of the lighting on the subject. From classic portrait lighting patterns to unexpected but powerful looks, Grey teaches you everything you need to know to control light effectively. Armed with these powerful skills, you’ll be able to create portraits that are more flattering, more marketable, and more creative.
Christopher Grey is the author of Creative Techniques for Nude Photography and Photographer's Guide to Polaroid Transfer. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The following is from the author:
For over 30 years, I’ve dedicated my professional life to be the best generalist photographer I could be, and over the course of that time I’ve had the opportunity to photograph an amazing variety of people, products and services. My work has been, and continues to be, a rich, visual exploration of people and culture, of psychology and motivation, of line and form and love of life. Good fortune and hard work has seen a number of national and international awards come my way, the ownership of which has opened even more doors for me. Among my personal victories, I shot the most interest-generating ad photo in The Home Depot’s entire history, a logistically challenging image from concept to completion, involving sculptors, bakers, and model painters, in less than a week.
Some time ago I realized that others might benefit from my experience, and I began to write and teach. This ignited a new creative spark within me, which I’m happy to say has lit fires under other photographers and enabled many of them to reach their immediate goals more readily.
I’m thrilled to be working at the forefront of the digital revolution”, although I believe that term is a misnomer. It’s really evolution” because it’s changing every aspect of my industry, my own business and the way I work. At last, I have complete creative control over my images.
Today is a great day to be a photographer. Tomorrow, even better.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments About the Author
Introduction The Importance of Portraiture Style Markets for Portraiture Before We Begin sidebar: Note to Readers
PART 1. PRINCIPALS OF PORTRAIT LIGHTING
1. The Nature of Light The Physics of Light Electromagnetic Spectrum The Properties of Light Direction Quality Contrast
2. Professional Lighting Equipment sidebar: The Arc of Equal Distance Fill Light Kicker Lights Background Lights Light Types Strobes A Word of Caution Light Modifiers Dishes Umbrellas Softboxes Other Modifiers More Jargon
3. Light Ratios The Key-to-Shadow Ratio The Highlight-to-Key Ratio The Highlight-to-Key-to-Shadow Ratio Correct Metering Techniques sidebar: Silver versus Digital
4. Basic Lighting Planning and Progress sidebar: Noses Broad Light Two Lights and Fill Short Lighting Building a Portrait with Short Light
5. Classic Lighting Styles Loop Lighting Closed-Loop Lighting Rembrandt Lighting One-Light Rembrandt Light One-Light Rembrandt Build Second Remrandt Build Side Lighting Building a Side-Lit Portrait A Second Side-Lit Build Butterfly/Dietrich/Paramount Lighting Building a Butterfly-Light Portrait sidebar: Flare with Bare Bulb
Part 2. Portrait Lighting In Practice
6. A Versatile Portrait Lighting Setup sidebar: Using Modifiers
7. Basic Light for Business Portraiture
8. Finding Boundaries
9. A Hair Light for Every Occasion
10. Closing the Pupil
11. Backgrounds sidebar: Complementary Colors
13. Portraits with Minimal Depth of Field sidebar: Sync Speed Adding Drama
14. Headshots for Publicity
15. Applying Makeup
16. Editorial Portraiture
17. Working with Falloff
18. High-Key Lighting sidebar: High-Key Never Dies
19. Low-Key Lighting
20. One-Light Glamour
21. The Bookend Bounce
22. Portraits with Flare
23. Working with the Profile
24. Location Photography
25. White Balance sidebar: Location Checklist
26. The Beauty of Overexposure
27. Bridal Portrait
28. Fashion Light sidebar: High ISOs
29. Mixing Color Temperatures and Presets sidebar: Correction