This is one of my more recent portraits that I have taken. I was going to an epic/intense feel, i was trying to show with the lighting and the forward lean pose.
Tell me what you think and how i could make it better.
The forward lean pose typically makes the head larger which if desired is ok. It appears that you're using cross lighting which I love, however may I suggest that you bring the lights forward just a bit more. I think you may find some results that could be pleasing. The best thing to do is experiment with the lights in different positions until you get the desired result. Really look at the light and shadows when setting the lights and composing the portrait. Every little detail makes a huge difference.
I think a little more fill from the front is needed. The face is too dark for my tastes. I think he looks a little out of kilter... a more natural lean forward, he feels like he is going to fall off the posing stool.
Light placement is never wrong if it is what you are looking for.
I would do this shot with three lights... one on each side, and one at or below camera level. I see a lot of these kind of portraits done with ring-light fill.
Good job... I think it is pretty good, you asked for the input.
The lights on either side of his head are too hot. I agree that they should be moved toward the front so that more of the face is lit. It looks like they're hitting him at a 90° angle from both sides. Is this the effect you're looking for?
I agree about the lighting - his face is a bit dark and because of the particular blend of cross-lighting, it doesn't flatter the face. This might also be improved by bringing his chin up a little more, so the brow doesn't shade the rest of the face so much and the cross/back-lighting wraps around more. I think he's a little too square to the camera, as well... you can get some more dynamic movement in the pose to reinforce the active look his outfit suggests.
There is actually a fill. I had to use a hotlight for the fill. It was directly above my head. It metered 3.5 1/60, I wanted it to be brighter but you win some and lose some.
I do agree that moving the side lights a little forward would make some pleasing results.
I have also seen people use ring flashes for with and it would be a great tool to use.
Thank you again.
One could argue that your fill is actually your key light as it is resposible for the most important shadow, that of the butterfly under the nose.
I would suggest raising the chin and toning down the (now) side accent lights to get some texture and get those lights of the sides of the nose.
I was actually using the light above my head as the key. The side ones were kickers.
So this is a self portrait? Again I point you to Karsh's self portrait. Turn up the fill, pull the accent lights forward so that they're at about 45° off his nose and turn them down. You might even want to put snoots on them. It looks to me like that's what Karsh did, although he may have had a main light to give it the Rembrandt effect. Note that there is almost no butterfly shadow under the nose.
I'd suggest you'd get a more epic feel by lowering the camera position, with the camera is looking up into the model's eyes. A longer lens might help, too - it'd distort the head a bit less.
Personally, I don't think this lighting suits such a young face. You need a really craggy face for it to be effective. I'd use a hard version of Rembrandt lighting to bring out wrinkles etc and 'add character'.