Digital Photography Lighting Information

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    Quantity of Light

    • It's not necessary to have a lot of light when shooting digital photographs. Assuming the camera is on a tripod, merely adjusting the shutter speed should be all you need to shoot in low light. If the desired look isn't being achieved, try repositioning the lights first before adding additional ones.

    Key Light

    • The key light is the primary source for lighting the photo's subject and giving it form. Moving the key light will create or eliminate contrast and texture.

    Fill Light

    • The key light by itself will most likely create shadow. Fill light is what is used to lessen that shadow, making the darker parts of your image a little more visible.

    Light Ratio

    • While some contrast between light and shadow makes studio lighting interesting, fill allows you to control that contrast. This relationship is expressed as a key-to-fill ratio. For example, a 2:1 ratio means that the key light has twice the brightness of the fill.

    Bouncing Light

    • One great way to create soft, natural light is by pointing the light source toward the ground or a white surface and "bouncing" the light toward your subject.


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