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True Sided

How to Handle Side Lighting

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In this film, Oliver Rausch from the Cologne photography school discusses one of three most used lighting techniques in photography; side lighting. This simplistic style of lighting was made widely popular as part of the lighting systems used by MGM studios in America, which was developed in the 1920’s. Prepared with a number of practical studio applications, Rausch begins by demonstrating how it was originally conceptualized. As Rausch explains, “Classically, side lighting is a light that shines directly from one side the side of the subject’s face, either from the right or left of your subject. And when viewing the subject from the front, a distinct and pleasing straight line is noticeable leading down the middle of the face.” Naturally, side lighting can have a very drastic effect on portrait photos because it always casts one side of the face in total darkness, while putting the other in the spot light. Rausch therefore has developed several modern approaches on how to implement the classic lighting method, which he teaches at the school. For amateur photographers looking to improve their techniques, as well as the seasoned pro updating their style, this is a wonderful way to get a mysterious, dramatic and pleasing portrait photo. There are many possibilities to modify side lighting and Rausch breaks down each of his individually prepared situations and set-ups, carefully and in detail, always improving in small increments from the previous example. And for photographers who are looking for a more natural looking portrait Rausch tests out the effects of adding a fill light onto the darkened side of the face, but with a informative twist to the classic method of where the reflector is normally placed. The effect of the fill light is subtle, but the visual impact is pure sophistication, clearly raising the level of technique for all photographers. Although the film may seem slightly complex at times with all the different scenarios and light changes, it is well worth it. Rausch delivers an exceptional cache of information, running through most all possibilities available for making a compelling portrait from such a simple lighting technique.


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Sorry but even the free videos do not play now. I've registered, subscribed, and downloaded the latest version of Flash Player. I'm using Apple's Snow Leopard but that didn't make any difference two days ago when I was watching the free videos just fine. Any other suggestions? Thanks for any help. Best, Harry Abernathy/haber45

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great movie. good

great movie. good explaination.


the translator never pauses. sometimes hard to follow