Learn with Calumet. Short lighting for portrait photography.

The essence of photography finds its foundations upon the workings of light and shadow, or as the Italian masters of Renaissance Art would call it Chiaroscuro. And when it comes to portrait lighting, the use of light and shadow has very different effects on the final image. In order to create some common ground between photographers, Rory Lewis has put together a few key photography lighting setups that you should get to know:

Short Lighting

Short lighting is the complete opposite of broad lighting we talked about in the previous post. In a short lighting setup it is the shadow side of the face that is directed towards the camera. The effect makes the subject’s face look more slender and longer. This lighting style is used to create edgy, dramatic portrait photography. It adds 3D qualities and is flattering for most people.



Simply put short lighting has shadows on the largest part of the face showing.

short portrait

Equipment List

Lastolite 1.5mx1.8m Collapsible Reversible Background – Black/White

Bowens Gemini 400/400Rx Umbrella Kit

Calumet 52″ Translucent Umbrella

Profoto 80cm Reflector – Black/White

If you’re looking for the right camera to help you achieve the Rembrandt effect, head on over to our camera range to find the right one for you. And if you need some help, get in touch with us on social media, call us on 0333 003 5000, email us at customer.support@calphoto.co.uk, or see our Help Centre for FAQ and answers.

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