Many photographers prefer shooting portraits with soft light than hard light. There’s certainly a good reason for it: it’s more flattering on the subject, more forgiving, and requires less retouching. But does it mean you should discard the hard light? Absolutely not! Even though it can be more demanding to work with, there are reasons to love hard light and embrace it in portrait photography. In this video, Lindsay Adler shares three main reasons why you should do so.
When photographers use terms like ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ light, it’s actually incredibly vague. You would rarely describe your meal as simply a ‘meat’ dish, so when a photographer says they are using hard light in a portrait, it’s just as open to interpretation as your mystery-meat.
Hard light can be anything from strong sunlight, to snoots, grids or even simple barn doors in a studio. But even with all that, none come close to the true crisp, brilliantly contrasty light of ‘Optical Snoots’.
Being able to look at an image and understand the lighting within it is not crucial to becoming a great photographer. But having the ability to look at another image you love and recognise the qualities that stand out to you will undoubtedly help you to become a better photographer far faster.
Last week we looked at how important being able to understand light can be and I also highlighted where many self-taught photographers struggle with this in today’s industry. If you missed last weeks article then I recommend you take a look to see some of the pitfalls self-taught photographers can struggle with as today’s article leads on from that.[Read More…]
The choice for shooting hard vs soft light is quite an easy one for many people. But if you don’t understand what the difference is, what difference it makes to your subject, or how to create it, soft light can be a bit of a mystery. Soft light is fantastic for portraits, though. It’s particularly flattering, especially to ladies, and isn’t that difficult to understand.
This video from Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter walks us through how to get it and why we need it. Caleb uses his lights for video, although the principles are exactly the same for photography, too.
Most large modifiers come with two diffusers. A big one for the outer rim and a smaller one that fits between the source of light and the big diffuser, right in the middle of the modifier. Of course, this begs the question how may diffusion layers do you actually need.
Following on from our earlier post about different types of light comes this one from Curtis Judd. The other video spoke about the various positions in which you can place a light, but it didn’t really cover quality of light. The size of the light source, how hard or soft it is.
The hardness or softness of the light can have just as much impact as the position of the light. So, in this video, Curtis goes over the difference between hard and soft light. How to achieve each, and the benefits and drawbacks of one over the other.
Ever since the middle of high school, I’ve been immensely interested in “the process.” You know, that middle bit between point A and point B that nobody but the artist ever sees. I’ve always loved peeking behind the scenes to see where something started and what kind of work and thought went into creating the finished product. To satisfy those of you who are like me, here’s another post in my Before/After series which not only shows you my images straight out of camera and the final product (hover over the image to see the before), but which uses each image to explain a bit more about what I do in post. If you’re just here for the freebies, enjoy the article! If you want to dig in way further, I cover every step of my post processing in my Editing + Consistency class. Enjoy, friends!
Understanding different types of light is important. If you don’t know how light works, then fixing issues that show up in your lighting during a shoot is going to be a pain.
In this video from Wolfcrow, filmmaker Sareesh Sudhakaran explains the different types of light, how they affect our subject, the problems they can present, and some tips on how to overcome them.
Sometimes having a messy studio can inspire you to shoot. I have all sorts of boxes and plastics lying around my studio because I only clean it when I have a client coming. This it inspired me to do a shoot using things that are scattered around. So, this is a quick article on shooting with just one Speedlight and recyclable stuff.