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To get your images to appear exactly as you want them, you need to know a few things about light - how it reacts, its specific properties, and even how to control it to make it suit your needs. Here you will learn about the basics properties of light.
Quality of Light
Lighting is the essence of photography. Not only does to create the image, it sets the tone and the mood of the photograph. It can accentuate features and enhance the detail, or it can soften the subject, creating a serene mood. Quality of light can be a misleading term; it not only means good-quality light, but it can also describe some of the unwanted attributes. In the broad scope of things, there are two basic qualities of light: hard light and soft light.
Hard light comes from a single bright source and is very directional: for example, photographing in midday open sunlight - the sun is your single, bright source. The shadows are very distinct, and the image has high contrast and wide tonal range. Using hard light can be effective when you want to highlight textures in your subject. Hard light is also very good at creating a dramatic portrait and is especially effective in black and white.
Because hard light is directional and there is high contrast associated with its use, you want to be very careful with the position of the light source. The placement of the light affects where the shadows fall, and in high contrast images, shadow placement can make or break an image.
Soft light is very diffuse and comes from a broad source or is reflected onto the subject. The resulting images are very soft with less noticeable differences between the shadows and the highlights. With a soft light image, the lighting seems to be coming from more than one direction, and it is often hard to pinpoint from which direction the light is coming. With soft light, the texture of objects is less apparent and some of the detail is lost.
Soft light is very good for portraits and most everyday subjects. Soft light is also flattering to most subjects, but it can sometimes lack the depth and drama that you may need for your image.
There are quite a few ways to achieve soft light; the most common way is to take your subject out of the direct light by putting it in the shade, such as under trees, a porch, or an overhang when outside. Inside you can create a soft light source by using indirect lighting, bouncing flash of off a ceiling or wall, to place your subject near a window that allows sunlight to filter in, also known as window lighting.
Photography for begginers