- The Short Version
- Back to Basics, Quickly
- Shoot: Position Your Modifier with intention
- Shoot: One Speedlite with Fill Reflector
- Shoot: Creating Soft Fill Light with a Big Umbrella
- Shoot: Broad and Short Lighting
- Shoot: Think of The Shutter as a Light Modifier
- Shoot: Just a Slash of Light
- Shoot: RING The Lens with Light
- Shoot: Nose to The Gridded Light
- Shoot: One-Light White Seamless
- Shoot: Speedliting a Silhouette
- Shoot: Does Softbox Size Matter?
Shoot: Broad and Short Lighting
Broad and short lighting describes two styles of lighting that can be very useful when shooting headshots. Essentially, the difference is which side of the face is lit by the key (main) light.
Think About The Direction Of The Nose
When a subject is not facing the lens directly, the nose points to one side of the frame or the other. The direction of the nose—relative to the position of the key light—is what determines whether a shot is broad lit or short lit. In Figure 19.14, Max’s nose is on the same side of the lens as the key light (a Speedlite in a Westcott Apollo Medium softbox). From the camera’s viewpoint, the short side of Max’s face (or the narrow side of his face) is lit—hence the term “short lighting.”
In the inset shot (Figure 19.15), Max rotated so that his nose is on the opposite side of the lens from the key light. Now the broad side of his face is lit by the key light.
Rotate The Subject Or Move The Light
The difference between Figures 19.14 and 19.15 is that Max started the shoot with his body facing the light (Figure 19.14) and then rotated away from the light (Figure 19.15). In both shots, the key light stayed in the same position, specifically to the right of the lens.
If you need to keep your subject in the same position (for instance), facing to the right as in Figure 19.14, and you want to switch lighting styles (say from short to broad lighting), then you just need to move the key light to the other side of the subject’s nose.
Environment: Indoor studio
Time of Day: Not a factor
Speedlite: One 580EX II
Zoom: Zoomed to 20mm
Modifier: Westcott Apollo Medium
Distance to Subject: Just out of frame
Height: Center at 6′ and angled down
Trigger: Extra-long E-TTL cord
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS at 70mm
Distance to Subject: 6′
Exposure Mode: Manual
Exposure: ″, f/11, ISO 100
White Balance: Daylight
Figure 19.13 Lighting diagram
Figure 19.14 Short lighting is created when the position of the key light illuminates the narrow side of the face- as seen by the camera.
Figure 19.15 Broad lighting is created when the position of the key light illuminates the wide side of the face. For this shot, Max rotated so that he was facing away from the softbox and then turned his nose towards the lens.