light and near the camera lens axis. It should be of lesser intensity and softer quality than the main light.
This light is often diffused even when the main light is not.
By placing the fill light slightly above the subject's eye level, a shadow is cast under the chin. This
shadow separates the head from the neck. This chin shadow should be soft and not well pronounced.
Control the intensity of the fill light by either adjusting the power setting of the electronic studio light set
and/or adjusting the lamp-to-subject distance. The fill light can be moved in an arc, left or right, further
to the side of the subject away from the camera. However, it must not be allowed to produce conflicting
shadows that point toward the main light.
(3) Hair light. Once the main and fill lighting has been established, other lights may be
added to the setup. One of these is a hair light. A hair light is usually a small lighting unit placed on a
boom so that it shines down from above and behind the subject. It is used to lighten the hair (or hat) and
shoulders, add detail to the hair, and separate the subject from the background, giving an illusion of a
The intensity of the hair light varies with the subject since it is dictated not only by the color of the
person's hair (or hat), but also by the amount of sheen the hair has.
The hair light is usually placed on the side of the subject opposite the main light and toward the back of
the subject. It should be used from an angle about six to eight feet high and from a position close to the
center of the subject area without the light stand or boom showing in the picture. Light from this unit
should not be allowed to spill over onto the forehead or tip of the nose. The hair light should be shielded
so that light from it does not strike the camera lens.
Be sure the hair light is turned off when making any exposure readings. This light does not affect your
basic film exposure, but it could influence your meter.
(4) Background light. A background light is usually placed on a low stand about midway
between the background and the subject. When adjusted right, it provides good tonal separation between
subject and background. The intensity of the light falling on the background should not normally be
greater than the intensity of the light from the main light falling on the subject's face. Realize, however,
that by increasing or decreasing the intensity of the light on the background, you can control the tone or
color reproduction of the background in the finished print.