Monday, March 2, 2009

photography tip: catchlights

something that always draws me to a photo is seeing great catch lights in the eyes. catchlights are the reflections coming from a light source captured in someone’s eyes in a photograph.

sometimes i’ll take a picture just because of the catchlights. i see them all the time, when i’m talking to someone, especially my kids. it’s not unusual for one of my boys to be talking to me & i’ll interrupt them saying “stay right there - don’t move, let me get my camera!”. i know, real nice mom… but sometimes i just can’t help myself!

when you’re taking photos you normally try & position someone toward the best light, which should in turn result in getting some nice catchlights in their eyes. it makes a huge difference in the entire result of the image, especially a close-up. in studio, many photographers use soft boxes just for this reason, to mimic the the look of the reflection of window light in the eyes. many even have preferences over square, rectangle & hexagon shapes depending upon which shape of catchlight they like best!

since i shoot natural light, indoors i like a big window (or set ‘em right next to a small window) or french door/s. these work niiiiice! so... next time you're taking photos, set out to capture some catchlights. let me know what happens!

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