In lighting your subject you should always start with the main light and add other lights as needed. If
you start with fill or secondary lights, by the time you get to the main light you may have so much light
that the subject is uncomfortable, and you may need to use such a small f/stop that excessive depth of
field is created.
(b) The height of the main light. To determine the correct height for the main light, move
the light directly in front of the subject while maintaining the distance determined for the forehead
highlight. Raise or lower the light until the shadow cast by the nose is just long enough to touch the top
of the upper lip. This is the height the main light should normally be no matter at what position you
place it in an arc around the subject. Be sure to watch for the resulting catchlights.
REMEMBER: There should be no more than one catchlight in each eye located at either the 1 o'clock or
11 o'clock position. If more than one exists, the light should be repositioned or the extra catchlights can
be retouched in the final print.
(c) The direction of the main light. By the time you have determined the main light
distance and height for a given subject you should have a pretty fair idea of the direction you want the
main light to come from. To establish for certain the direction from which this light should come, move
the main light in an arc, to the right or left, around the subject. Remember, while moving the main light,
its established distance-and height should be maintained.
The shadow cast by the subject's nose is your key to main light direction. If the top edge of the nose
shadow is allowed to fall along the crease or "smile" furrow from the nose to a point beyond the corner
of the mouth, it tends to emphasize this crease and is usually a bad placement for the main light. Instead,
the light should be moved farther around until the shadow cast by the nose merges with the cheek
shadow and leaves a small triangular highlight on the cheek in the area of the cheek bone. When this is
accomplished, the main light is in position. Remember, the main light must always be the dominant,
directional, shadow pattern-forming light.
(2) Fill light. Once the main light has been established, add the fill. This fill light is a
secondary light; do not allow it to overpower the main light. Its purpose is to fill in and soften the
shadow areas, making them lighter and providing shadow detail.
The fill light is normally placed slightly above the subject's eye level, on the opposite side of the camera from the main