Using light to create separation: Quick “Two Minute Tips” video will help improve your portraits


posted Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 5:59 AM EST


We recently covered one of David Bergman's "Two Minute Tips" videos he makes for AdoramaTV which addressed cutting out the clutter in sports photos. Bergman recently took a sharp turn and has focused his attention instead on using light to separate your portrait subject from the background.

In the video below, Bergman quickly discusses what separation light is and how to achieve the effect. When a subject is against a background that is similar in color to either them or their clothes, separation light helps to define their shape. A hair light is a common example of separation light. By adding a light above the subject, Bergman is able to create separation between his subject's hair and the background.

It's possible that you might stylistically choose to have your subject fade into the background, but if you want to create separation, a hair light isn't your only option. You can also light the background rather than your subject to create contrast. What about creating a rim light around an entire person? Check out the video below to see that lighting effect in action.

For more "Two Minute Tips" videos with David Bergman, check out the full list of videos here. For more of David Bergman's work, visit his website

(Seen via ISO 1200)