The portrait photography allows almost endless creative setups . For beginners, however, this creative freedom means that there are numerous sources of error to be aware of. This is exactly why many photographers stick to proven lighting setups that are guaranteed spectacular results delivery. This is also one of these setups butterfly light , which leads to professional images with relatively simple means.
That's popular Butterfly light for portraits , because it looks elegant, hides small blemishes and the face, especially in the case of female models, is artful and charmingly modeled .
Why is the setup actually called the butterfly light??
Not the structure of the lights, but the The shade who leave these on the model's face give them lighting their name . Since, as will be described in more detail below, Frontal light from diagonally above falls on the person, a shadow appears under the nose, the shape of which is reminiscent of a butterfly. This shadow characterizes that butterfly light not only, but also serves as a check as to whether the structure has been correctly set up.
The structure of the butterfly light
That's popular butterfly light both at studio photographers as well as among those who prefer on location take pictures as not much equipment is required. In principle, one is enough artificial light source , alight stand and areflector out to the desired effect to create.
The light source can astudio flash, a clip-on flash or one LED permanent light be. What is important is a relatively strong performance, and with it the right kind of performancelight shaper one sufficient strong lighting is reached.
In general and therefore also with butterfly light applies, ever larger the light source , the more flattering falls that Light on the model to be photographed. A flat and thus soft light , which also leads to soft and gently sloping shadows, is possible using light shapers. Because with most techniques in the portrait photography If soft light is required, it is advisable to purchase a softbox or a translucent umbrella. Come these light shapers at butterfly light are used, they help to ensure that the transitions from the light to the dark areas are particularly soft and smooth. It also makes it easier for photographers lightening the depths , i.e. the dark areas, since the scene appears less rich in contrast.
The light source bring photographers aligned obliquely and frontal in front of the model. Here it is important to note that the nose of the model, the camera and the light above it are in one line. If the angles of the incident light are correct, the little shadows in form of butterflies visible under the nose. However, the face of the model appears when using the alone Main or Keylights still too dark and rich in contrast.
Brighten for perfect portrait photography with the butterfly light
To the light structure and the intended mood to put the finishing touches, it takes a brightening and thus a weakening of the depths in the picture. The easiest and quickest way to do this is with a filter. Such is simply positioned so that the light runs evenly from the forehead to the chin. Depending on whether the torso or a headshot is to be photographed, dem Model of the reflector simply handed over. This is particularly useful if none matching bracket or an assistant is available.
In the studio, the technology of the butterfly lights be expanded at will. So photographers use instead of the practical reflector other light sources to lighten the to light the background or around one hair light to include in the picture.
A summary of the butterfly light
The popular butterfly light should be part of the repertoire of every photographer who is good and expressive portraits want to achieve. The structure of the light is simple and is always suitable when little time is available or with as much time as possible few utensils should be worked. Especially with female models this creates butterfly light an elegant and timeless effect that gives excellent results in most cases.
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