62. Understanding the emotion of light

In this chapter we review several images from ‘Light Source’ and others from Karl’s portfolio to help you identify how various lighting setups suggest or invoke certain emotions to the viewer. This form of lighting theory is essential to furthering your ability to create stunning portraits or fashion images. Karl provides a variety of practical demonstrations and theoretical examples to help you identify when and how you should opt for a particular style of lighting.


  1. I want you to know that I learned so much from this. I can’t even begin to say how much more ahead I am now than if I have not seen this tutorial. Great lesson. It will save me years of learning the hard way.

  2. Hello Karl. I’m having troubles getting both eyes in focus when the subject face is tilted. is it normal? or the portrait must have both eyes in focus?


    1. Hi Oussama, they don’t have to be but if you want them both sharp it sounds like you need to increase your depth of field a little. Please refer to the introduction course in the essential section.

  3. Hi Karl,
    When you explain about using a scrim to create a gradient ball of light, you often use a bare bulb which is the harshest light source to then diffuse to create the ball of light. Are there any advantages of using a modifier, reflector or grid to shine through the scrim to control this ball of light more, and why do you choose this method. Is it do with the reflective quality it gives the product in certain areas?
    I do not have the space yet to try this out so hence why I ask.
    All the best,
    Kind regards

    1. Hi James, that is covered in actual demonstrations in other episodes on this site, I think in a previous live show which you can watch on replay or in a product module. But in answer to your question I often use different modifiers behind a scrim depending on the gradient I want to achieve or the amount of spill i’m willing to accept around the studio. See the whisky live show as a good example.


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