Figure 4.3. No catchlights at all mean dead-looking eyes and a dull appearance.

Figure 4.4. Dual catchlights are almost as bad as none at all.

The original photo does have catchlights. The problem is it has too many of them, as you can see in Figure 4.4. Although the portrait is an informal one, it was shot in a studio, and if you look closely, you can probably make out the outlines of the two umbrella reflectors I used to light the picture. You'll see quite a few octagonal photo umbrellas reflected in the eyes of portrait subjects as catchlights. Sometimes the reflections are used as a creative element, showing up as a glamorous studio-oriented element in the lenses of wrap-around sunglasses.

In theory, we're most accustomed to seeing square, window-shaped catchlights in eyes, but, in practice, the round catchlights aren't especially distracting. Two catchlights do look wrong, however, so if you have a pair this obvious in your own photos, you'll want to learn how to remove them during digital retouching.

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