The sun provides “lots of light”


Maybe this will help: no matter how much light there is — e.g., the sun — you'll get the best image if you provide a bright side and a side in shadow. In video and film terms, think key and fill.


We're accustomed to seeing people with light from some source on one side of their face and less light on the other. It's a convention that is introduced to the graphic arts as early as the 13th century and it was codified for the stage and film by theorists like Stanley McCandless in the very early days of electric lighting.


So try this: see what happens if you use one of the soft boxes with three lamps for your key light, the other with only one for your fill. Or if you must have more light, put one light closer to your subject than the other. Play with the intensity and position of your softboxes until you see a well defined, molded face on your monitor. And it's important to use your monitor in making your lighting decisions. It doesn't matter what the scene or subject looks like to your eye; what's important is how it looks on monitor.


You can use your two softbox setup and get back light, too. Use a piece of foamcore on the diagonal across from the key light, as high as you can get it. The bounce from the foamcore should provide definition to the hair and shoulders.



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