Broad Lighting Versus Short Lighting

Broad lighting is the most common form of lighting. It occurs when the main light is to the front of the subject and the shadows fall beside or behind the subject. Figure 9.15 is one of the purest examples of broad lighting. I placed the beauty dish to illuminate this image in the front, so shadows are minimal.

To make the lighting more dramatic, you can put the lighting to the sides of the subject and begin to see distinct shadows on the face. Pulling the light behind the subject so that the shadow side of the face is toward the camera is a technique called short lighting. Short lighting can help you achieve drama. It works well for men and women alike. Notice in Figure 9.16 how the shadow side of the face is toward the camera. By putting the darker side toward the camera, the image takes on a much more cinematic and dramatic feel. The shadow on the left side of the frame is softer than would be created by barn doors. It is accomplished by using a 4-foot strip light.

Broad Lighting Short LightingExamples Short Lighting
Figure 9.15

This is an example of broad lighting, with the main light source to the front of the subject and the shadow side of the subject away from the camera.

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