Monday, October 13, 2008

It's all in the eyes!

With everything else photography, I become a little obsessed when I see something that works. I would see pictures that looked simply amazing to me. I couldn't quite figure out what it was about the specific photo that caught my attention. Then, I realized it was all in the eyes.
Catch lighting is the whites in the eyes that are produced from a light source. Many different light sources can produce great catch lights, including: sun, water, window lighting, snow, and man made reflectors. (One great way to reflect light onto your subjects face is with a simple white piece of thick poster board.) Just simply reflect what light you have onto the subjects face creating amazing catch lights!

I have trained my eye to look directly into my subjects eyes to get the best catch lighting. This takes some time to learn, but is so worth it! It means you have to pay attention to light! This is one thing about photography that I cannot emphasize enough! LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT! When you are taking pictures, look into your subject's eyes. Turn them around facing all directions to see what creates the best catch lighting. Walk your kids around your house and look for the best natural light location. The best windows are north facing...but since I only have ONE of those, I have found that my best window is in my kitchen after 3 o'clock. I usually drag my kids in there to take any of those "everyday" type pictures. Even before you try to capture those catch lights, just start noticing them. Then, look around and figure out why they are there. Figure out what is producing them. Then...get out that camera and shoot!

YEAH for catch lights! It is the best secret to making a great photo...FANTASTIC! There are some ways to enhance catch lights with photoshop. If you are interested in that, please email me at and I will send you a tutorial!

Also, remember that catch lights can be achieved with ANY camera, and any level of photography skill. Light, is light. It doesn't matter what you use to capture it. Exciting, huh?


kellyballard said...

Kati- I don't know where I have been but I had no idea that you do this stuff- you are amazing. Plus, those kids are so beautiful. Now that you have been in your house AWHILE, can we come for dinner?! love cousin kel

onceapickle said...

Thanks, yet again, for a great tip.

I tell ya, that girl of yours is a heartbreaker!

Ashley Eddington Hoopes said...


You do take fantastic pictures. I would love the tutorial on the light info, and any other help you can pass along. Just got a camera (Cannon EOS) and I can barely point and click! I know that there are a lot of bells and whistles that I could be using to improve my photos...just have no idea what or how. Anyways, thanks for all of the photo tips!