The quality of light decides how one portrait affects the viewer. While light may vary in strength for the layman, the photographer evaluates ambient light and artificial light according to several categories. Particular attention is paid to the difference between the hard and the soft light .
Photographers who consciously select and model the light according to their ideas expand their artistic repertoire clearly. Especially in the Portrait Photography , but also in all other areas of photography, the quality of the light is an important component that determines how a photo looks. Only from the combination of composition and light the result is an image that is able to bear the pictorial or artistic signature of a photographer. The following article addresses this in more detail hard light , which, used skilfully and consciously, guarantees surprising results.
What actually is hard light?
The definition of hard light and the demarcation to the soft light have nothing to do with that color temperature or light intensity to do. Rather, the division into these two categories is based on the effects that these types of lights or artificial light setups leave behind on the face of a model, an object, a landscape or a surface.
The soft light it flatters the surfaces and objects it encounters literally hugs and modeled particularly three-dimensionally. The transition from the bright, more heavily illuminated areas to the dark areas, the shadows, is soft and flowing , there is hardly any clear demarcation and sharply defined contours and edges.
The hard light presents itself in his extreme form as the complete opposite of soft light. It takes care of sharp, clearly defined edges and means an abrupt transition from the light to the dark areas. Contours on the face or on an object are clearly emphasized, everything works angular, sharp, dominant, less plastic and sometimes even more unfriendly than is the case with soft light.
Who more to soft light experience and want to use this specifically in your own photography, you can find out in one of our othersblog posts more on this topic.
How is hard light created and what is needed for it?
In theory, the demarcation between the hard and the soft light is simple, in practice it looks a little different. Straight natural ambient light is usually difficult to assign to one of the two categories. While soft light most likely in Outdoors under cloudy skies , is achieved, hard light occurs primarily in strong sunlight. The reason for this is in the creation of the hard light to find. An important factor that determines how hard or soft the light falls is the size of the light source in relation to the model or the object to be photographed. The sun in a cloudless sky at noon is tiny in the firmament and would therefore be suitable as a source of hard light, or not By definition that is correct, this light falls under the category of hard light , unfortunately in this case the fall The shade however, so that these often rather unfavorable fail for the photographer.
The hard light used in photography is usually based on artificial light . come into use studio flashes , system flashes andsteady lights. Another way to change the relative size of the light source to the object or person is to Distance to increase or decrease. The closer the light, the larger the source. With double the distance, it becomes four times smaller. Here it is again example of the sun at. Although the star is huge, due to the distance from Earth it appears as a pin-sized light in the sky.
Should that light particularly hard be, so photographers do without completelylight shaper, the size of the light source is reduced to the flash head or the LED unit in continuous light. If this effect is too strong or not selective enough, then working with is a good ideabarn doors, onesnoot, oneGrid before a smaller onesoft box or something like that.
The benefits of hard light
Hard light accentuates the edges, puzzles due to the deep shadows and creates a strong contrast in the picture. In the Portrait Photography comes hard light mostly strong characters before, which should be considered particularly dominant, masculine or mysterious. Every little imperfection on the face or on a surface is accentuated, which is why this setup not definitely for them beauty photography recommends.
In the Product Photography the hard light is used, for example, when the outlines or the design stand out hard edges or deliberately defined by the absence of such, should be emphasized.
A conclusion on hard light
The conscious use of hard light should craft repertoire belong to every photographer. Compared to other setups, the hard light is a effect , which is easy to achieve, after all it only takes one single light . Despite the simple implementation, the hard light should be chosen with care, after all it is the balancing act between hardness and softness , which ensures the perfect expression when setting the light.