best portrait lighting?

I'm curious what light sets people consider to produce the most realistic portrait effects?


  • Are you in DS, using Iray (which is the default)? Are you aiming for a studio-shot effect, or something more natural?

  • JonnyRayJonnyRay Posts: 1,668

    This is going to be a personal preference type of question as well as what people are used to using. For Iray, my go-to lighting for simple portraits is Colm Jackson's PRO-Studio HDR Lighting System. I happen to like the first volume the best although I have all 3.

    For the longest time, I just got very quick and efficient at creating a standard 3-light rig that is common among portrait photography. The tutorial linked in my signature is a bit dated, but the concepts are still applicable to any system that lets you create your own lights.

  • shootybearshootybear Posts: 32
    edited October 10
    I'm going to give you a somewhat different thought about this as a newbie myself (4 months). A) Read JonnyRay's tutorials. They're good and quite accessible. Read them all as the way light interacts with a characters's skin affects how you want to light the character (which a few of the others talk about). B) *If you have the money* go and search on portrait and find something on sale (50% off or more - there are always sales), buy it and use it. In my opinion using even a mediocre is better than nothing. Or roll your own with JonnyRay's tutorial for free other than your time. PS people also seem to like the B.O.S.S Pro set ( pro light set)
    Post edited by shootybear on
  • Jonny- I probably will only be able to get one system for now, can you fill me in a bit on the difference between the 3 and why you prefer the first?

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