Lighting Techniques for Low Key Portrait Photography

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Low key portraits have even, soft lighting. Light your low key portraits with the help of a professional photographer in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Portrait Photography
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Paul at Paul Steven Photography, and I'm here to show you how to do low key portrait photography. Well, here we are with low light portrait photography. In order to achieve that, we take our main light, and when you set that, we want to set it at and then, we take the field light and we drop that down three, four, five or even six stops, so that we can have a very darker shadow side, more subdued compared to the main light that provides all the main light. That, in technical talk they say, they call that lighting ratios. The lighting ratio for traditional low key portraits are usually done around eight to one, six to one, five to one, four to one. Any higher than that at three to one or two to one or one to one, you're getting into traditional portraits. So, for this demonstration, let's take a few low key portraits. And this is how you set up low key portrait photography.

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