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Thread: catch lights in eyes

  1. #1
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    catch lights in eyes

    How do you make sure to get good catch lights inside the studio and outside shots? Some times I get them and sometimes I get a great photo and there are no catchlights.

  2. #2

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: catch lights in eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by sowens View Post
    How do you make sure to get good catch lights inside the studio and outside shots? Some times I get them and sometimes I get a great photo and there are no catchlights.
    Hi Sowens,

    If your using flash, then you really need a small component of direct flash to "guarantee" catchlights.

    Failing that, you can add them later in post-processing.

    The likes of the Canon 580EX range has a built-in catch light panel that can be extended - I assume that equivalent Nikon models have something similar.

  3. #3
    xhogan's Avatar
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    Re: catch lights in eyes

    Hi Sowens,

    For studio work, I was taught to light the face as follows. Take your main light and move it to about 45 degrees to the face, (45 degrees sideways and 45 degrees up). That's your starting point.

    Now move it round just until the shadow from the bridge of the nose almost (but not quite) enters the white of the eye on the shadow side of the face. This will give a nice 3D modelling on the face. It is important not to let the shadow enter the white of the eye as this will make one eye appear smaller than the other.

    Now, lower the light until you can see a catchlight in the eyes from the camera position and then (here's the trick...) continue to lower the light (slightly) just until the colour of the eyes 'pops'. Then stop.

    Now your main light is in the right position to provide 3D modelling, catchlights and colour to the eyes.

    The rest of the recipe is made up of fill lights, reflectors, hair lights and/or kickers to taste.

    This of course is a lot easier when dealing with an adult and when in the studio where you have complete control over the placement of the lights and the co-operation of the subject... (try doing this with a two year old :-) )

    With outdoor stuff, it's the same principle, but you will have to move your subject to a position where the correct light pattern is shown rather than moving the lights.

    Hope this helps..
    Regards,

    Hogan.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: catch lights in eyes

    Nice routine Hogan,

    Makes sense to me and sounds like a very good starting point you can't go far wrong from.

    Thanks,

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