Confused on Catchlights?

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JDBabyHopes's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149
Confused on Catchlights?

Krista was so nice to give me some lighting tips, but I'm confused about the term "catchlights". I asked about it on my CC thread, but I thought maybe I'd throw up a pic and see if this is what it means.

Is it the sunlight reflection from the floor in his eyes that is a catchlight? If so, how do you avoid that and get enough lighting? He was kind of angled toward the windows, though not directly.

TIA! Smile You ladies are great.

PS - I'm so mad. I forgot to check my ISO (it was at 800 from when I'd done a few practice shots in the interior of the house), so most of the "tie shots" of my DS are noisy. Sad I guess that'll get me to remember to always check it, huh?

EL2's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

I think Wikepedia explains it best:

You do not want to avoid catchlight, you want to have them in your subject. What you want to avoid are pin lights. HTH.

La123's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 04/11/08
Posts: 815

Yup, what El said! You WANT to get that light in your subjects eyes! You are on the right track, and you didn't even know it Smile

jooniper's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

Yup, what PP said- catchlights are a really important part of portrait photography- and, IMO, a great way to give your photos a professional edge. It makes the subject look alive and draws attention to their eyes. You want as much light in the eyes as possible without covering the pupil.
The problem with flash is it creates "pin lights" over the pupils and the subject looks stunned or stoned rather than "alive". So you're definitely on the right track- use natural light (or flash light bounced off a ceiling, wall, or diffuser) to get light in those eyes.

BTW, I love those chunky thighs! (and I mean that as a compliment, of course, being the mother of my own chunky-thighed baby)

Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

At least your guess was right Smile When I first started learning I thought pins were catch lights haha.