Back to basics: understanding the fundamental techniques of portrait lighting

by Gannon Burgett

posted Friday, February 6, 2015 at 3:10 PM EST


As enticing as it may be to dive head-first into portraiture, it’s important to know the basics of lighting a subject. Without these basics it's difficult to build a fundamental understanding of lighting for your own style to develop off of.

As part of their ‘Back to Basics’ video series, Brian Wilson of 500px shares just that; the basic elements of portrait lighting. In the five minute video, he goes over the four most common lighting techniques: Rembrandt, split, broad and butterfly.

One by one, he breaks each of the styles down, shooting example images and detailing how each lighting style defines and accentuates the subject and mood of the image. It’s a fairly quick watch and a great way to start off your weekend — especially if you’re wanting to step up your portraiture game.

(via ISO 1200)