Create Interesting Portraits with Cookies

by Sean Setters
 
Oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia nut or classic chocolate chip? No, I'm not referring to one of those types of cookies. In lighting terms, a "cookie," or cucalorus, is a "...device for casting shadows or silhouettes to produce patterned illumination." [Wiki]
 
A cookie is placed between your light source and the subject or background and casts a desired pattern of highlight and shadow. What can be used as a cookie? Fabrics with interesting weaves, potted plants, venetian blinds and matte black cinefoil with custom cut-out designs are popular choices. In the example above, I used an old lace curtain suspended between my main flash (camera right) and the subject, producing the interesting effect (a flash positioned camera left/low provided fill light).
 
So the next time you're looking to create a unique portrait, look around your home or antique/fabric stores for items that can be used to cast an interesting pattern of light onto your scene.
Posted: 10/22/2018 10:09:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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