Looking for the Catchlight

November 14th, 2009 by admin
by scottbourne

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If you make portraits – be they of fish, birds, insects, people or animals, you need to think about catchlight.

They bring life to the subject. Without them, you might as well be shooting at a wax museum or taxidermy.

Here are some tips for finding the catchlight.

a. Make sure the light source is BEHIND the camera. If not, it’s going to be pretty tough to see that reflection in the eye of the subject.

b. If you can’t find the catchlight in the subject’s eye, move the camera until you can.

c. If moving the camera doesn’t help you find the catchlight, move the subject.

d. If no natural catchlight exists, consider using a reflector or fill flash.

e. Avoid multiple catch lights. There is only one sun so here on Earth so let’s make sure we have no more than one catchlight in the eye.

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