Loop Lighting the most used portrait lighting technique

Week 17 Technical: Loop Lighting

Loop lighting is one of the most used portrait lighting techniques. We are required to shoot portrait(s) using loop lighting.

I am not a portrait person and have never learned techniques for portraits so this is exciting because I am experimenting something new and "technical!"

In a “loop lighting” pattern, we adjust our light so that the shadow of the nose shows up on–and forms a little loop upon–the subject’s cheek, traveling down as far as the corner of the subject’s mouth. In loop lighting, we want a slightly downward angled shadow (not too much) so we raise the light slightly above eye level. We want the end of the nose to cast a rounded–looped–shadow down from the nose to around the corner of the mouth or even a bit shorter.

The shadow goes off to the side; it is not directly under the nose. The area between the upper lip and the nose remains unshadowed. Of course, shadows are cast directly opposite from the light, so to get a shadow going to the side and down, we need a light positioned on the opposite side and up.

Start with the light off to the side at approximately 45 degrees from the camera. Then tweak and adjust from there. Depending on the subject’s face, the best angle may be a bit more or less than 45 degrees. Note: These notes are from Picture Correct and excerpts from here.

Thank goodness for my models and co-workers

Thanks for being a Sport Sting!

Now that I have done one of the technique for portrait lighting, I need to learn the five others at some point, found here.

The portrait six are: Butterfly Lighting, Rembrandt lighting, Split Lighting, Broad Lighting, Short Lighting and Loop Lighting.

Created By
Raja Vanathandavar


Raja Vanathandavar

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