This video shows just how important light direction in photography can be
posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM EST
The correct lighting can have a dramatic influence on the way a photograph can turn out. Anyone who has spent time around a campfire telling ghost stories knows what a strong light underneath a chin does for your features, and the same is true for just about every possible angle you could place a light at. And for an incredibly apt demonstration of that effect, check out this preview of a music video for the French group Opale.
This music video is directed by Nacho Guzman, who based it on the unfinished film by Henri-Georges Clouzot called L'enfer from 1964. In that film, the swirling lights were used to create an impression of an altered mental state, which Guzman has promised he will have "mixed with a "new" visual technique" in the final version of the video.
From a photographic perspective, the swirling single point light rapidly demonstrates just how effective various angles can be to significantly change the way a subject looks. While the top angle looks flattering, shooting from the sides significantly emphasizes the models facial features in a way that's very harsh. While using a single, bright light for this video emphasizes the effect significantly, it'll still apply when shooting under less dramatic circumstances. And it shows why it's so important to play with your lighting setup in order to get a look that works with your subject, and portrays the emotion that you're going for.