Every photographer knows that the eyes are the soul of a portrait. Besides the emotional aspect, there is one important technical factor that, if done right, will light up the eye of the portrait and enhance the connection with the viewer: the catch light. In this article we are not only going to understand catch light, but learn how to control it with this amazing video tip from Felix Kunze & Sue Bryce.
Catch lights are simply the reflections of light or lights in the eyes. The light from the surrounding is reflected in the eyes of the model which tells us where was the light placed, how big was the light, how many lights were used. You can tell if it was a window light or exactly what modifier was used on the studio light by identifying the shape of reflection. If you are a beginner with studio lighting, it is important to know your light modifiers first before you begin identifying them.
In this amazing video tip, Felix Kunze shows us how to recreate the lighting of the scene using a black christmas ball. Think of the ball as a larger display screen of the eyeball. While Felix is trying to recreate window light using the ball, you can use this trick to have full control of how the catchlight will look on your portraits.
LEARN TO SEE THE LIGHT
Here is a simple quiz to make your life easy while trying to reverse engineer (or in simple words, trying to figure out) lighting of an image. We are going to do this by reading the eyes. Why? Because the eyes never lie (well, if they are not Photoshopped). We have scanned some tear sheets from ads, and cropped the eyes.
Please leave your answers in the comments below in this format:
1) Lit by [name of modifier].