Hello, scrapbookers! Ready for an easy way to make your portrait photography even better? It’s pretty simple, but has a big pay-off: make sure you’re catching the catch lights!
What is a Catch Light?
According to digital-photography-school.com, a catch light is simply the highlight of a light source reflected off the surface of the eye. This highlight adds depth and dimension to the eye, and gives the eyes life in a portrait or snapshot. You can generate catch lights by using different lighting tools or by adding them later in Photoshop, but the easiest way is to simply position your subject in diffuse lighting, such as in the shade when you’re outdoors or next to a window when you’re inside.
Photo Tip 1: Take your Time
When shooting your subjects take time to try out different locations and angles. Take a few shots and then quickly review them before moving on to see if you are getting everything in your shot that you want. Remember this quote:
“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
– Ansel Adams
Focus on quality, not quantity!
Photo Tip 2:Find a Window
According to Tracey Clark, a photography teacher at Big Picture Classes, “Diffused window light is a great place to seek an ideal light source. If your subject allows, move them around, turning to one side and then the other. As the light hits their eyes from different angles, you’ll be able to study catch lights and how even the subtlest turn toward or away from the light (or chin up vs. chin down) can make all the difference in your portraits.”
Want to learn more about improving your photography? Big Picture Classes is giving away two spots in the online workshop Picture Spring, taught by Tracey Clark. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us one or two of your favorite photography tips. Whether you’re inside or outside the US, your entry is welcome until Monday, March 19, 2012, at 9:00 am (MDT). Winners will be posted here.
About Picture Spring: 30 days of soulful seasonal celebration
Picture Spring is a 30-day self-paced e-class that will encourage and inspire you to use photography to celebrate the season of new beginnings while honoring and nourishing your creative spirit. With a new email and fresh perspective in your inbox each morning, you’ll use the daily photo prompt to help open your mind and guide your lens to see and capture your life and the world around you. Whether you are an expert photographer, or just starting out, this project will help you see things in a completely new light.
—Wendy Smedley, Big Picture Classes
Congratulations to our winner, LinhC:
“Get close to the subject, fill the shot with the subject!”
LinhC, watch for an email with instructions on how to redeem your prize.