Direct and Indirect Light

Direct light is rather different altogether. You have to make sure the light is shining right on your subject, and you need to double check your photos for unwanted shadows. There is no other place this could be more true than in portrait photography. Shadows get misinterpreted as wrinkles and finelines. If you use direct light, you run the risk of making your subjects appear much older than they actually are. Thats no way to sell you friends on your photography skills!

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What are the best things to photograph in direct light?

A single white paper towel is enough to turn your flash into a source of indirect light. Just place it in front of your flash, and it will disperse the light in all directions around your subject. I also find it helpful to use a smallreflectorto bounce my flash toward a white wall. Direct flash is the worst kind of direct light. Its too intense and focused, often making your scene appear uneven. By using a reflector, you are forcing the light to the side, making it indirect.

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The lack of shadows brings out the smoothness in faces, making

Landscapes. Do this in the early morning. The shadows give the mountains the texture they need to stand out and take center stage. Its hard to read the geography and depth of a landscape without the shadows, and thats why direct light is so ideal for this situation.

Portraits. Too many harsh shadows on either side of the face can make a person appear much older than he or she actually is. In other words, its a bit unflattering. Unless you are intentionally trying to emphasize someones age, stick with indirect light.

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Indirect light, by contrast, is light coming in from all sides. Technically speaking, theres always some small amount of light bouncing around and hitting your subject on all sides too. The difference with indirect light is that it is more evenly balanced. In other words, the light reflecting onto the other side of your subject is nearly the same intensity as the source itself.

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Food photography is the delicate art of fine-tuning direct light to get perfect shadows. Indirect light would make the ranch dressing look like an amorphous white blob. Not so appealing to would-be eaters.

The goal of most studio photography is to turn direct light into indirect light. To this end, photographers spend money on reflectors, L.E.D. lamps, beauty dishes, and a number of studio gizmos. You dont need to buy all of the equipment in order to create your own indirect light, but it certainly will make your job easier. Instead of spending a bunch of time searching for something to reflect the light, they can simply bring all the gear with them.

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Overcast days are ideal for portraits.

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Why is that important to note? Because even though you cant see any shadows, the light is never perfectly even. On an overcast day, you still need to pay attention to the angle of the sun (mostly as a means of avoiding backlit photos). As long as your subject isnt directly in front of the sun when youre shooting, you can shoot at any angle you like.

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If you really think about it, there is no fundamental difference between direct light and indirect light. One is simply the overabundance of another. When you say the light is direct, you are saying a lot more about what isnt happening than what is.Direct lightis the absence of light on any other side except the side with a single light source.

There are two types oflightin this world; direct light and indirect light. Each of them serves a unique purpose in photography, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Direct light is straight on, sometimes harsh and sometimes warm and colorful. For example, without direct light, the image to the right wouldnt be nearly as colorful. Indirect light comes from all sides and completely illuminates your subject. Lets take a moment and consider how each might be useful in your own photography.

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What are the best things to photograph in indirect light?

If you dont have any reflectors on hand, you can always use a mirror. They work perfectly fine. The only issue is their heaviness. Reflectors are nice because they fold up, dont shatter, and they give you a nice diffused white light (mirrors simply reflect all light). This is the poor mans toolkit until you finally buckle and buy a few accessories.

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Most indirect light isnt completely indirect either. The original source is usually a little brighter than the sources of reflected light. To see what I mean, just think of anovercastday. We would say this is an indirect lighting situation, but if you look at the sun, its still brighter than anything else around. The real difference, then, is the degree to which it is bright. On an overcast day, its relatively less bright than on a fully sunny day.

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Macrophotography. Most people dont know that cloudy days are perfect for shooting flowers and other life close up. It really brings out the colors.

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Still Life. It depends on the subject matter, but direct light does have a number of advantages over indirect light. If your subject has an interesting texture, direct light is definitely the way to go. Food photography is a sort of still life photography, and it demands direct light.

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Silhouettes. Just position the sun behind your subject and shoot away! Silhouettes convey an air of mystery that you cant quite get with indirect light. Plus, if the light of the sunset were indirect, you wouldnt get any of the beautiful colors either. Oh, you might need touse a flashto ensure your subject is lit from the front too.

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As you can see, both direct and indirect light have their place in the world of photography. One is not better than the other. They simply have different purposes. If you are trying to emphasize texture and shadows, go with direct light. For everything else, use indirect light.

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people appear younger and more attractive.

Products. Excess shadows can make products appear unappealing. If you ever sell anything on Ebay, make sure you setup a softbox and use indirect light to illuminate your subject.

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Can you please tell me the type lens I need to use when making pics of the Sunrise? I have four different lens and cannot figure out which one is the right one to use.

However, if you were to take that same direct light and use it tophotograph food, then youd really have something. One thing that really sells us on food is itstexture. When you the right kinds of shadows (something you can only get with direct light), food appears more textured and therefore more appealing. Without shadows, all food looks the same.

It has become my passion,and I hope to set up a website,blog and start selling.

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