Sunday, March 12, 2017

Picture Practice - Side Lighting

Day 12 - Side Lighting

As I looked back over the last few posts about lighting, I noticed that I had failed to mention using shadows as an indicator of the type of lighting.  When the light is more overhead, it is sometimes a bit more difficult to tell which kind of lighting it is.

For example:  Front lighting would mean that the light source is behind the photographer (regardless of how the subject is turned) and shining directly on your subject. This would produce a shadow straight ahead of you, the photographer and straight behind the subject.

Back lighting would be when the sun is directly in front of you, the photographer and the shadows will be facing you.

With Side lighting, the light source is coming from YOUR side and produces a shadow to the opposite side.

As I've mentioned, very few of my photos make use of front lighting. However, MANY of my photos use Side Lighting of some sort.
Side lighting is often used to add drama or intensity to a photo, as is often seen in black and white photography as well. When intentionally using side light, as a photographer, you want to think of it as coming off the side of one of your shoulders. Light coming from a full 90 degree angle from the subject will often produce shadows that are too intense, while a lesser angle can be more pleasing.
Side Lighting is often used in still life photography since it produces dramatic shadows and texture. It highlights parts of the subject, while leaving other parts in shadow, showing depth and contours of the subject.
Have fun practicing side lighting and learning what positions result in the most pleasing photos.
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