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.