Lesson 7: Photography Lighting

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  • #17729

    Hard light- My sister sitting on the rock
    Soft light- My sister stretching for dance

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Both of these images are great examples of hard vs. soft lighting. Your first image has hard, directional soft lighting hitting your subject’s face and body on one side while the other side remains unlit.

    Your second image is incredibly well exposed and shows the gentle lighting consequences of soft lighting. Your subject in this image is lit evenly from all angles. You have both indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as reflective surfaces (i.e. the white wall), that are helping to fill in the shadows.

    Your second image is the stronger out of the two images. It uses a limited color palette, has a strongly isolated main subject, uses lines (dance bars) as a leading line to help draw the viewer’s eye into the photograph and it has great lighting and exposure.

    Not only that, but your subjects arm is following the line of the dance bars creating symmetry and interaction between the different layers of your photograph.

    The first image on the other hand suffers from lack of detail (especially in your subjects face) due to harsh shadowing. This is always a bi-product of harsh lighting, but it’s important to know how and where to direct the shadows in harsh lighting situations. Alternatively you could have bounced the light back with a reflective surface which would have filled in the shadows around her eyes and nose.

    Other than that. Great work!

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