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The Use of Light in Photography

Whether you are a novice, professional or somewhere in between, you’ll likely agree that light has a distinct purpose in photography. Thus, even for children learning the core basics of photography, taking note of the varying sources of light and how to use them is an important part of its foundation. With customized instruction and curriculum covering many of the fundamental aspects of photography, children ages 9-13 at Rising Star Photography Society in Princeton engage in numerous events and workshops, encouraging their passion for photography and their connection to the world around them.

Generally speaking, there are 8 types of photography lighting to reference:

Flat Light:
when a light source is directly facing the front of a subject, with no shadows along the face, this is classified as flat lighting.
Broad Light:
A form of side lighting, broad light means that the face of a subject is positioned at an angle. The most well lit side of the face is closest to the camera, with a shadow on the backside of the face.
Short Light:
As the opposite of broad light, short light is also considered a form of side lighting, yet shadows fall on the side of the face that is closest to the camera.
Split Light:
When light appears on a subject at a 90-degree angle, this is called split light. An example is when half of a subject is in the light, while the rest of the subject is shadowed.
Backlight:
When light comes from behind a subject, it is considered backlight. Often, photographers use backlight to capture a semi-silhouette image.
Rim Light:
When light comes from behind as a backlight, yet highlights the rim or edges of a subject.
Butterfly Light:
Named from the small shadow created under the nose of a subject when light is placed above and in front of them, butterfly light is used to highlight particular features on an individual’s face.
Loop Light:
Carefully positioned light, loop light is a flattering type of light used on people, as it creates a shadow just under and to the side of the nostril and nose.

For children ages 9-13, Rising Star Photography Society has become a source of creativity and character building, with exclusive curriculum covering a variety of composition skills and lighting uses. To inquire about membership, call today!

Posted on behalf of Rising Star Photography Society

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