When I think about lighting there are two main things that I like to consider before making an image, the direction and the quality of light. For the next few installments we are going to discuss how the direction of the light affects your images.
The most basic direction of light and the lighting I use for the vast majority of my work is front lighting. With front lighting the light is coming from behind you and falling directly on your subject. I like to tell people that when using front lighting you want your shadow pointed directly at your subject. The reason for this is if your shadow is pointed directly at your subject, guess where your subject’s shadows are going to be? That’s right! Directly behind them! This makes for very easy, very even light, with little contrast and no distracting shadows.
Because the shadows are behind your subject this is very easy light to expose for. Mainly because there is usually little dynamic range or contrast in the image. You do remember dynamic range from last week don’t you? Everything is in the same even light. Usually this makes for very easy exposures.
The other thing to know about front lighting is it is the very best light to get really good reflections, as in the image accompanying this post. The best reflections occur when your subject is lit by low angle front lighting. This light bounces off your subject onto the water creating the reflection.
Good Luck and Good Light
Image: Drake Wood Duck, Chagrin Falls Park, Ohio