Updated: 02/01/2017

 

Lighting Comparisons

 

bl_only.jpg

In the following pictures we started with the back light shown on the left.

By scrolling up and down on this page you can study the effect of other lights.

 

flat_lt.jpg

On the left we've used "straight-on" lighting similar to a flash on a still camera or a light mounted on a camcorder.

Granted, the subject matter in these illustrations is monochromatic, but even with back light there is little depth or dimension in the features.  In most cases this harsh style of lighting should be avoided.

 

nofill.jpgIf we use only a key light and a back light (left) we achieve depth and dimension, but without a fill light there are dark shadow areas that hide detail.

 

all_3lites.jpg

On the right we have added a fill light to the scene above and arrived at traditional three-point lighting. 

Not only have form and dimension been preserved, but we've "opened up" the shadows to reveal detail.

 

soft_lt.jpg

The soft lighting on the left (with key and fill of equal intensity and of soft quality) leaves the subjects looking flat, without form or dimension. Compare that with the previous picture.

This type of lighting is popular because it's easy to set up and is "forgiving" -- i.e., it diminishes shadows, age marks and wrinkles.


1996-2017, Ron Whittaker, All rights reserved.