Placement of the Five Lights in a Portrait Lighting.
The correct placement of the five lights for a portrait set-up is imperative in order to obtain the proper
modeling of the subject's features. By modeling we mean creating a three-dimensional effect by either
emphasizing or deemphasizing the curvature and characteristic features of the face with highlights and
a. The Main Light (figure 1-3). This light should always be the dominant light source in a
portrait lighting. Its direction establishes the nature of the portrait lighting technique.
Figure 1-3. The main light
(1) Location. The main light is located higher than the subject's head and at approximately
45 degrees to one side of the camera-subject axis. The light can be diffused with a screen to reduce
facial textures or eliminate harsh shadows. The positioning of the main light is the key to your lighting
technique in addition to establishing the exposure; therefore, it must be considered with great care. You
will use it to establish the lighting technique.