[/box]They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. In a picture of a person, the eyes are usually the most important part. They are what bring out the life and personality of the person. Catch Lights help you to highlight the eyes. A catch light is a sign that you have adequate light in your subject’s eyes.
An eye without a catch light looks dull and dark. The same eyes with a good catch light are bright and full of color. A good way to get catch lights is to have the subjects face looking up at you with your light source, (probably the sun) slightly off to the side. To prevent squinting, place your subject in full shade. Stand facing your subject with the open sky, not the direct sun behind your back. The brightness of the sky will give your subject nice bright eyes. If you can’t find shade, place the sun behind your subject and use a reflector to bounce light back into their eyes. A light colored wall or pavement, sand, or a white t-shirt all work well for this purpose. Start really looking for catch lights in your regular life. Look for catch lights in people’s eyes as you talk to them. You can see how they change as their heads move. Watch the movements and note the best angles for nice bright eyes.
The best placement for your catch light is on the iris at about 10 or 2 o’clock. A good catch light will be relatively large as well. The catch lights caused by on camera flashes are called “pin lights” because they are so small. Pin lights DO light up the eye, but do not give the same depth and variation of color that a “proper” catch light does. Pin lights are considered unattractive by most photographers and are avoided if possible. Avoid using your on camera flash when possible, this not only eliminates pin lights, but red eye as well!