More New Lighting Samples (Halo Light)

by William Lulow

The next lighting to demonstrate is the HALO LIGHT. This lighting is produced by placing the light behind the subject and causing the subject’s shadow to fall on the camera lens. That’s the definition of the Halo Light:


You can see how the light produces the halo effect even on the subject’s shoulders. There are several uses for this type of lighting. Like the Edge Light, it serves to separate the subject from the background and adds accents to the subject as well. Here is one such instance where I have used the HALO LIGHT for that effect:


Here, the HALO LIGHT not only provides the accent effect, but it also lights up some of the background as well, especially since it bounces off the bride’s white dress. It adds a certain sparkle to the scene as a whole and gives it a three dimensional quality.

The HALO LIGHT should be used sparingly and only when it adds to the overall effect and brings out accents.

Here is yet another use for a HALO LIGHT, even though it is not strictly a Halo Light because no person was involved. But it does light up part of a scene that needed some added light:


This was an interior shot in which I placed a light behind the desk of this hotel lobby in order to give some dimension to the shot as a whole. The effect of this light placement would have thrown the shadow of the desk on the camera lens, so technically, it might be considered a Halo Light, but since the foreground was lit as well, the actual Halo effect was minimized. This scene was actually lit with five lights! See if you can determine their placements. Without the light behind the desk, that entire area would have been dark and details would have been hard to see. The extra light here adds quite a bit of accent to the whole shot. It’s a good example of how knowledge of portrait lighting helps your overall lighting efforts in general.