How to get the "catch-light" in eyes for portraits?


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Jul 10, 2004
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#1
hi, wondering what photographers who shoot portraits normally use to get that square box thing you see in the eyes of the subject
 

#3
Yeah, its the flash. But for say those studio portraits, reflected flash won't give you such an effect. They only way to have this effect and have diffused lighting is to have those studio flash and umbrellas. if you look carefully in those high res shots you can actually see the umbrella and studio flash.
 

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#5
yup..something like that, i noticed that some people have the square reflection, rather than the round one...what are they using for that?
 

weevil84

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#6
Softbox or rectangular reflector that's placed near to the model.
 

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#7
ahh..okay....so a standard flash and the use of something to diffuse it would be able to help get a similar result?
 

Yatlapball

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#8
Actually to be precise, any strong(er) light source can do it. A window can become the catchlight as well.

And you can pretty much have whatever shape catchlight you wish... stars... crescent moon... (see alien bee's products :bsmilie:)
 

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#10
thanks alot guys! hey catchlights, i suppose you would have a good number of photos with uh..catchlights...would you mind directing me to some if you do and if you don't mind?
 

theveed

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#12
reflectors are usually adequate, so are large white surfaces or windows...


Car windows


Table cloth

Whatever large enough surface in front of the subject that's light in color would create catchlights...


Even a small 3x3 window frame.
 

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#13
thanks alot of the samples theveed! so just say i've got a suitably large white surface area, would it be necessary for me to bounce the light from my flash off the surface?
 

theveed

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#14
You could do that as well, but your flash needs to be somewhat diffused as a narrow flash beam pattern will be hard to "aim", so to speak.

The photos I posted used no flash, just sunlight.

Try to simply hold a white/silver reflector near the chest level of the subject, you'll see catchlights near the 6 o'clock area of the eye. Even a simple fast-food tray-size reflector will work.
 

ryuggen

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#15
theveed,

Does wearing a white base clothing works as a reflector to create catchlight instead?
 

zac08

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#16
thanks alot of the samples theveed! so just say i've got a suitably large white surface area, would it be necessary for me to bounce the light from my flash off the surface?
Possible, another trick is by using a bounce card, the bounce card will get you the catchlights and the bounce to the ceiling will get you the even lighting needed.
 

theveed

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#17
theveed,

Does wearing a white base clothing works as a reflector to create catchlight instead?
Hmm, not really unless the piece of clothing is perpendicular to the eye level... Otherwise, the white reflective surface will just be blocked by the subject's nose/chin...
 

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