Quote Originally Posted by guy catelli View Post
this one has key lights on the model's extreme left and right. the fill is facing her. all three lights were diffused with circular white-cloth 'reflectors'.
Guy —

Don't forget the basic rule that there should be one dominant light.
Therefore —at least in terminology— you shouldn't call your kickers key lights.
Just because they're stronger than the light on your models face, they are still "effect" lights. Which brings up a second point:

Your kickers are too strong and your fill —which functions as your key light, in this shot — is too weak. Your model has "hidden places" all over her face. Don't be afraid of flat lighting. Hollywood portraiture wasn't only hard spotlighting (especially fo women). Go back and look at Hurrell's work again.

Also —as long as you're messing around with Photoshop—, why not retouch skin, like a real Hollywood shot? Hard lighting brings out wrinkles and skin texture. IMHO, they are detracting from the quality of your work. In the absence of this retouching (and unless you're looking for a deliberate effect), you'd be better-off lighting your female models with a softer light source, such as floodlighting. (I'm not what you mean by white cloth reflectors ... are these covering your lights or are your lights being bounced off of them?)

By the way, I'd guess that the true APUGer way of retouching such a portrait would be by pencil or dye & brush on the negative itself (I've forgotten ... are you even using film?). Try it. It's fun and alot quicker than Photoshop anyway!

Best,

Christopher

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