Sunday, February 13, 2011

2 Light Sources versus 1 Light Source

This is where I am at after 2 days of work. The plan is  to have just the face and collar area in focus and have everything else a bit out of focus, especially the window and masks on the wall.

I am really happy with the actual figure in this one. I decided to photograph him with the natural light of his home instead of dramatic lighting.  I stood him close to one window with another window across the room. This allowed some strong blue light to hit his face and hair on the right from the close window and filtered, fainter warm light to hit his face from the windows across the room. I like how this lighter airier lighting looks with the young adult, softening him. 

Just to show you the difference lighting can make, below is a portrait I did with my daughter as the model. I darkened the room and used one strong light on her right side. The dark reddish light on the left side is just the reflected light of the one light source bouncing off the other side of the room. It makes for a spooky dramatic effect. Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer were amazing at using this effect, although maybe they used this lighting because it mimicked their lighting in their homes! Windows or candles! 

I used this dramatic one light source lighting in my Zen series. 

Two Vermeers with very different lighting. Which do you prefer?

check out James Gurney's post on warm and cool light sources and their interaction!


Nancy Goldman said...

This is wonderful Nicole. I am looking forward to seeing how you describe the background.
Thank you for showing the lighting diagram too.

Nicole Caulfield said...

Thanks Nancy! I'm interested in how I'll render the background too! :-)

Dors said...

Beautiful work Nicole. Thanks so much for sharing the lighting process.

Mary said...

This looks great so far!
I'm trying to learn how to use lighting to my advantage in my own work so the info you included and the link are really helpful. Thanks.

Robert Sisson said...

Regarding the Vemeers, it depends. If I'm in a bright, cheerful mood I would prefer the one of the left. If was melancholy I would go with the darker image.

Gloria Callahan said...

Your fabulous work here will surely be a well loved commission. Watching your background here also. Lighting is always the key isn't it, thanks for the info.