The Principles of Lighting Preoccupied with daily life, most of us give only half an eye to the world around us. We respond to its influences but seldom scrutinize its effects all that closely. You recognize the effects, even if you have not considered their cause.
Lighting a figure from below creates a spooky and unfamiliar look, even the highlights in the eyes look strange because of their placement.
Lighting a figure from straight above can give a broody and menacing look.
The candle light is commonly considered soft. But if you look around a candle-lit room, you will find that a candle’s small flame casts firm clear-cut shadows, and throws texture & contours into sharp relief.
While working with light, you will probably be surprised how many of its features are already familiar from everyday experience. Let us now consciously try and appreciate some of these features. Features Like: Direction Quality / Intensity Evenness Contrast Colour Source
DIRECTIONFRONT LIGHT Here light source is directly behind the viewers point of view. This type of lighting is often unappealing if the light source is hard
DIRECTIONFRONT LIGHT Hard frontal lighting has that paparazzi look: harsh and often unattractive. It doesn’t substantially helps in revealing form or texture since the shadows are mostly hidden from view, as a result it can make things look flat.
DIRECTIONFRONT LIGHT It can help conceal wrinkles and blemishes.
DIRECTIONFRONT LIGHT There are exceptions and in some situations very attractive images can come from soft frontal lighting. Soft frontal lighting smooths over form.
DIRECTIONSIDE LIGHT It is good for showing form & texture and lends a three- dimensional quality to objects. Shadows are prominent & contrast can be high as a result.
DIRECTIONSIDE LIGHT Side lighting is generally attractive & is often used to great effect: it is the kind of lighting encountered at beginning & end of the day.
DIRECTIONSIDE LIGHT Side Lighting means long shadows; The shadows cast across this image help to give it a sense of depth and dimension.
DIRECTIONBACK LIGHT Back lighting is where the viewer is looking into the light source. It is usually a high contrast situation and can often look very atmospheric & dramatic.
DIRECTIONBACK LIGHT Silhouettes are a common feature of backlit scenes.
DIRECTIONBACK LIGHT It is also a very effective way of revealing translucency.
DIRECTIONBACK LIGHT Back lighting can make most mundane subjects look appealing.
DIRECTIONTOP LIGHT It is slightly more unusual situation. It can be encountered in sunshine at midday, in some interiors & in situations such as stage lighting.
DIRECTIONTOP LIGHT In soft light it is an effective way of showing form. But underneath hard lights one will have black holes for eyes since their eye sockets will be in total shadow.
DIRECTIONTOP LIGHT It is rarely used by artists. The very fact that its not often seen, it can be used to create an uncomfortable feeling.
DIRECTIONBOTTOM LIGHT Lighting from directly below the subject is even more unusual, than top lighting. In a natural context this might happen if someone is standing over a campfire, or holding a torch.
DIRECTIONBOTTOM LIGHT It would definitely lend a strange appearance to even the most familiar things since what is usually seen in light & shade would be reversed. In the very rarity, this kind of lighting can be used to creative effect.
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