Shooting with the light to the side of the camera creates a lot of drama in a photograph especially if illuminates the side away from the camera. The angled light creates a complex pattern of light and shade. Some areas are well lit—and show good color saturation and texture. Others are in shadow—hiding both detail and color. These borders between light and dark are very good at revealing the three-dimensional form of a subject.
Depending on the surface, this direction of light can also be excellent for revealing surface texture. However, the shadows often end up obscuring important details—and the more complex the forms, the more difficult it becomes to use side lighting successfully. Side lighting works quite well for nudes as it not just reveals but hides as well, making it all the more interesting and artistic. sometimes, its important only to show what the photographer wants to show.
With simpler, more identifiable subjects, sidelighting is best when it is tempered—for example, when it is softened by clouds so that the contrast between light and dark is less extreme. In the studio, side lighting maybe just diffused, or used in combination with reflectors to precisely manage the contrast across the subject. In the photograph bellow you do not see the detail on the other side of the face. But in the photograph of the same model further bellow there is less difference in the brightness on both sides of the face. This kind of lighting while giving depth and form to the subject does not really hide anything in the shadows. srishti_489
Although a beauty shot the lighting is quite diffused yet directional to give shape and form. Short lighting always gives a leaner look to the face or anything else for that matter.
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Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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