Broad Lighting


Broad lighting used in studio portrait is mainly set for a model with long and narrow face. With this lighting is set up, the narrow face looks slightly broad and round, thus enhancing the facial look and appeal of the model.

In studio lighting, we use one main light, which is referred as a key light. Other lights are secondary lights, which are used as fillers. These lights open up shadow details. Key light is the light, which creates the shadow in a photograph in pleasing manner. When key light is soft, the shadow is rendered as shading. Under any circumstances, the subject should have no second shadow.

In portrait photography, when the subject, that is the model is seated with his or her face, turned 30 degrees away from the camera axis, then one cheek is facing the camera. Now when we have to set broad lighting, then place the key light in such a way that the cheek, which is facing the camera is illuminated. Place the light in position, so that the high light in model's eye is formed at 1 o'clock (or 11 o'clock - depending on which side the face is turned) position. Shadow of the nose should not cross the lip line.



This lighting set up will illuminate the broader part of the face and the long face will look plumper. We can use other lights to illuminate the back drop. If we prefer to keep the back drop dark and black, we can use a light, which falls on the model's head from slightly back position. This light is known as a kicker light, which separates the main subject from the back drop. Kicker light can be slightly more powerful, as compare to the key light, however, be sure that it is not producing any lens flare.

If any light is falling on the lens and produces a flare, then we should use a "cutter" to block the kicker light. This cutter is just a plain opaque board, which can be placed in between the path of the kicker light and the lens. We can also use barn doors, which are specially made for this function. Read more about barn door and other light attachments here

This lighting set up will produce broad light, which is ideal for a person with narrow face.

Read more about:

Narrow lighting: Lighting for a model with round and chubby face

Butterfly lighting: Lighting for a model with symmetrical and beautiful face

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