Components of Interview Lighting
In the course of developing skills in the craft of lighting, this lesson may be among the most important. The concepts covered here will reappear in many other lighting setups. Sometimes they are there on a subtle level, but they are almost always there.

As you go thru the different lessons, pay attention to how often these concepts reappear. The more you understand them, both individually and in the way they work together to create an effective image, the easier it will be for you to adapt them as needed in a variety of situations. They will also help you to create your own distinctive lighting style.

Using this interactive player, you can turn on each light in the setup individually to see its effect. You can also view the entire setup to see placement & choice of fixtures. These 4 lights: Key, Fill, Hair, & Edge, form the basics of a well lit portrait. Familiarize yourself with each light and its effect on the whole picture.

Johannes Vermeer - Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid c.1670-1671

Selecting "ALL ON" shows what could be referred to as classic portrait lighting. It is common to see this style on television news magazines and documentaries as well. It looks natural but is actually rather contrived in execution. It is a universally accepted 'look' that comes down to us from classic painters who themselves were attempting in imply depth in their two dimensional medium.

Their concepts of contrast and light angles were often influenced by the light coming in a window. Very often from a window that didn't have direct sunlight shining into it.

The north-light window in old photo studios and our modern soft lights attempt to emulate this classic look.

North Light
North-light window in an old photo studio

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