Lighting the Scene: Short Lighting

Lighting is key to a great photograph. It works in your favor to tell a story that engages your viewer. It drives emotion and draws your viewer's eye across the scene. Lighting plays a vital role in making your image authentic.

Developing a lighting situation can seem tedious, overwhelming, and complicated; but lighting your subject does not have to be difficult. There are many easy techniques that can affect the mood of your image. One particular look I love is split lighting, particularly with a short lighting shot. Short lighting refers to the shortest part of the subject's face, the part of their face turned away from the camera, being illuminated while the other half of their face falls into shadow. The image below was set up with short lighting in mind.

The Final Image

f8; 1/200; ISO 160; 50mm

How It Was Shot

I set up the soft box at camera left and turned the subject slightly to their right. You'll notice that the soft box is turned slightly away from the backdrop. This was done on purpose to limit the amount of light spilling onto the background of the image. Too, this technique offers the crisp line we can see on the subject's right shoulder, separating them from their background.

As mentioned on the caption of the image, it was shot at 160 ISO, f8, with a 1/200 shutter speed. 

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