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Back to Basics (Episode 7): Qualities of Light – Soft vs. Hard Light and Light Fall-Off

by Philippe Dame on February 23rd, 2012

I’m hitting a stride of about one tutorial a month and so I’m happy to present to you Episode 7 of my on-going series called Back to Basics. This week I’m covering a slightly more advanced topics but one that I think should be basic knowledge for all photographers. They are concepts I wish I understood sooner when I was learning.

In this episode I discuss qualities of light

  • Hard light vs. soft light
  • Light fall-off

Photography is an art form dependent on the physics of light so understanding how to use and create soft and hard light is critical. It’s also essential to understand how its intensity dissipates over distance. This knowledge will improve your photography and, if nothing else, it helps you figure how to solve challenging lighting scenarios like group shots.

As usual, I hope you enjoy this episode. I really value your feedback so please post a comment if you watched it.

For the best viewing experience, go full screen and select 720p quality.

More Learning

Yet again, Mark Wallace and the team at Adorama TV’s “Digital Photography One on One” did a few great videos touching on these important topics:

Don’t forget to watch all episodes of Learning DSLR: Back to Basics.

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  • Tom

    All becoming more and more clear, thank you very much for your clear explanations!

  • Scott M

    You use the term exponentially incorrectly. The correct term to use is power law.

    • Philippe Dame

      Thanks for the correction

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