Exploration Of Lighting, Skin Tone, Skin Colour, Make Up And Costume

All of these photos are taken of the TV screen from my mobile.

White Balance

One of the things that I am most interested in is how lighting effects different skin colours. As a photographer, unless I am using lighting for a specific effect then I want the results of a photograph to match the skin colour of my model. Lighting affects different skin colours differently, and make up works differently as well. In the examples below, the first photo is the closets representation of the mans skin colour. For the others I have changed the white balance and have included incandescent, flourescent, cloudy, daylight and auto.


Facial Up-lighting

An interesting effect for a surreal/scary look, and also for highlighting certain features if the lighting is directed towards the features that you wish to highlight.


Coloured Lighting and Skin

Green is my least favorite lighting colour. I think that it makes skin look unhealthy, although the highlight upon Tess Daley is used to good effect for a Halloween theme. The highlights are better than general green lighting that affects the whole face as in Craig Revel Horwood. I like how red lighting affects the skin, but when it’s too bright it can create a sunburned affect, such as Sam Black below. In the examples below the blue brings out the features of Nicole Scherzinger, which it doesn’t on Spencer Sutherland, however I do like the mixed lighting of the blue and pink, and I intend to use mixed lighting for my assignment. Blue Lighting can make hair look greasy, whereas white can destroy details and tone. Diffuse blue lighting can bring out texture and detail if it is used appropriately, and this can be seen by viewing the coursework of fellow Foundations in Photography student Archna Singh. Something else that I am aware of is how the lighting is positioned, head on, below, side and behind. Front on coloured lighting produces a blanket of diffused lighting that flattens the face and hides texture, side lighting and lighting from below highlights facial features and exaggerates them. Lighting from behind can be good for highlighting skin and hair, but can also cause a halo.


Theatrical Makeup

This is something that I wish to make use of for the Painting with Light assignment. These examples are an exploration. I particularly like beads and glitter when they are used around the eye. It’s also possible to use them to create contour, so that in a dark rook and with a black background, lighting can then pick out skin or clothing contours.

Natural Skin, Skin With Make Up and Good Lighting

Good examples of natural looking make up, that is enhanced by the lighting, on black and brown skin. Minimal foundation on Debbie McGee, Aston Merrigold and Martin Brundle. Good make up and lighting on the next five, but over use of the wrong colour foundation on the final two photos. Foundation is the key for good make up that enhances the natural colour of an individuals skin. The wrong colour, and on top of a fake tan tends to be a male showbiz thing, although in saying that, Jack from Jack and Joel does look good with the make up that he wears.

Foundation is also used to soften the glare of lighting on the skin, it acts as an absorber of light rather than a reflector. It is also used to  make the skin appear smoother and in doing so it removes the detail.


Costume, Lighting Effects

A brief look at lighting effects in general, and lighting upon costume.



Singh, A; 2017; Exercise 2.7 People in light; Online at: https://archnasingh.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/exercise-2-7-people-in-light/ (accessed on 31/10/2017)

Sing: Ultimate A Cappella; 2017; Series 1, Episode 4; Sky One; 27/10/2017

X Factor; 2017; Series 14, Episodes 17 and 18; ITV; 28+29/10/2017

Strictly Come Dancing; 2017; Series 15; Episodes 9, 10, 11 and 12; BBC 1; 21,22, 28+29/10/2017

Formula 1, Mexican Grand Prix; 2017; 29/10/2017; 6pm


5 Replies to “Exploration Of Lighting, Skin Tone, Skin Colour, Make Up And Costume”

  1. Very important exercise and am sure it will a go a really long way to achieve the very best results in your final assignment. I think its a very detailed attempt what you did here and so much great learning. To have done this exploration right at the beginning of the course is a great idea and I think you have been able to achieve not only some great images but also great learnings with these few exercises that you have attempted Richard. I think I have got my inspiration from going through your blogs and what a truly great way to approach building up to an exercise. Thank you for some wonderful work, learnings and motivation. Great going absolutely.

    Liked by 1 person

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