How to Get Started with Split Color Portrait Lighting

by Blair Bunting

There is a progression that takes place in the journey that is our lighting knowledge. At first it is learning the ways of ambient light. As our career progresses we decide to buy our first flash and throw that sucker straight on the camera, only to question why the shadows on faces are gone… along with the artistic merit. Soon after that we discover a site like Strobist and point the flash at the ceiling and realize our first “Eureka” moment as a photographer. From there we buy our first off camera strobes and it is all downhill…

Off-camera strobes are something that I think should be classified as a different genre in the medium of photography. I say this because they are a part of the knowledge base that some photographers will never need to understand to be successful (like photojournalists and landscape photographers). However, for advertising photographers like myself, they are crucial to my workflow and often make or break an image. We often talk about how bringing lights to an image creates mood, but rarely discuss how it can destroy it, but I digress.

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