Edgy Sports Lighting Techniques in Portrait Photography

You know those photographs of athletes where the dramatic lighting makes them appear to be more fierce than they already are? The kind where their muscles have so much depth and definition they seem to pop right out of the picture? Joel Grimes is a master of that kind of edgy sports lighting and being the gentleman that he is, he has taken the time out of his busy schedule to make a video tutorial outlining exactly how he does it. Besides being an excellent photographer, Grimes has a very easy to follow approach to instruction that even novice photographers can understand. Take a look at the video below and see how Grimes can help you improve your photography as well!

As we learned in the video, Grimes uses a three light approach to create the depth and drama that have become his trademark look. In his early days as a professional photographer, Grimes says he strictly used a single crosslight setup. He got to his current setup by experimenting with the gear that he had available, something almost everyone can benefit from. The photograph below is one of the first images Grimes took using the three-light system.

photographing athletes

“I added one kicker light to my one light approach. I added a second light, that was a big departure for me. I got this little edge and I thought, ‘That was kind of neat, I wonder what would happen if I added two kicker lights and then put an overhead light.'” I had this beauty dish…I pulled that out as my overhead light with the two small boxes and that began the three light approach.”

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