Side Lighting  As you might expect Side Lighting is when the lighting is coming from the side. This usually provides a great deal of contrast, can create long shadows and adds depth to the image. This type of lighting can add a dramatic flare to architectural and portraiture photography.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Back Lighting  Back lighting is when light is behind your subject and is directed at you and your camera. This type of lighting creates silhouettes quiet easily. Combined with certain atmospheric conditions such as fog or airborne dust you can get dramatic lighting effects.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Sun shining through a grove of Monterey Pines (Pinus radiata) - San Francisco, California_Photo By Jim Goldstein

Various Combinations of Lighting  Lastly there is the combination of any or all of these types of lighting. There is no rule that states you have to live with just one form of lighting. Creatively lighting your subject is an integral part of the photographic process.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography - Digital Photography School

Ambient Light  Ambient light is non-direct soft lighting that often is bounced from one surface to another. As a result of the non-direct lighting, brightness of your subject is lower than with other types of lighting. In fact this type of lighting often tricks people the most as we seldom think about it consciously. Most photographers might just ignore it looking for other types of lighting. Ambient light works well for a variety of photographic genres particularly landscape photography.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Ambient Light Ambient light is non-direct soft lighting that often is bounced from one surface to another. As a result of the non-direct lighting, brightness of your subject is lower than with other types of lighting. In fact this type of lighting often tricks people the most as we seldom think about it consciously. Most photographers might just ignore it looking for other types of lighting. Ambient light works well for a variety of photographic genres particularly landscape photography.

Hard Light  Hard light is quite direct and can often be intense in brightness. This type of lighting creates strong shadows and high contrast. Highlights can be quiet intense under Hard lighting conditions so special care should be made with ones exposure. Hard light can be stylistically applied to most any photographic genre, but for many eyes it can be less appealing than other types of lighting.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

The 2008 Mavericks Surf contest is being called for this Saturday January The last time the event was held was in 2006 when this photo was taken More photos from the 2006 Mavericks Big Wave Surf competition can be seen here on my web site.

Rim Lighting  When light comes in at an acute angle it can create highlights along the edges of your subject. The stark contrast that it provides highlights shape and form. This type of lighting adds impact to macro, wildlife, nature and fine art nude photography.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Rim Lighting When light comes in at an acute angle it can create highlights along the edges of your subject. The stark contrast that it provides highlights shape and form. This type of lighting adds impact to macro, wildlife, nature and fine art nude photography.

Artificial Lighting  The most obvious type of lighting is Artificial lighting. This can be generated from a variety studio lights, and built in or external flash units. There are few genres of photography that Artificial lighting cannot be used successfully. Artificial lighting provides a lot of flexibiltiy and creative opportunities. If interested in learning more about artificial lighting techniques check out the Strobist web site.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Artificial Lighting The most obvious type of lighting is Artificial lighting. This can be generated from a variety studio lights, and built in or external flash units. There are few genres of photography that Artificial lighting cannot be used successfully. Artificial lighting provides a lot of flexibiltiy and creative opportunities. If interested in learning more about artificial lighting techniques check out the Strobist web site.

Spotlight  Very simply Spot Light is when a focused amount of light highlights a particular section of your subject or scene. This type of lighting can create strong shadows and contrast. Spot light can add dramatic impact to all genres of photography.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Spotlight Very simply Spot Light is when a focused amount of light highlights a particular section of your subject or scene. This type of lighting can create strong shadows and contrast. Spot light can add dramatic impact to all genres of photography.

Soft or Diffuse Light  Soft light is diffuse providing lighting that is even. This type of lighting reduces contrast and minimizes shadows. Soft light is excellent for portraiture, macro, and nature photography.

9 Lighting Types to Harness & Improve Your Photography

Soft or Diffuse Light Soft light is diffuse providing lighting that is even. This type of lighting reduces contrast and minimizes shadows. Soft light is excellent for portraiture, macro, and nature photography.


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