Types of photography lighting

Photographic light type and classification.The so-called light type is light that has a specific modeling effect on the subject. There are main light, auxiliary light, contour light, background light, and decorative light. Different light types have different uses. In shooting practice, one, two or more light types can be used. The more light types, the more complex the light, and the more variables, the harder it is to control.

Photographic light type and classification
Photographic light type and classification

Main light: The light that plays a leading role in the shape of the subject. The location is hidden in front and the front side of the main body, with high illuminance and large lighting area. The main light determines the lighting pattern, picture tone and environmental atmosphere. When shooting indoor portraits, determine the light position, light quality, and luminosity of the main light before deciding on the layout of other light types. The brightness of other light types should generally be lower than the main light. Moving the lamp position can increase or decrease the illuminance, change the light ratio, and increase or decrease the shadow of the object.

Secondary light: also known as auxiliary light, supplementary light, and set-off light, the light that assists and supplements the shape of the subject, that is, other light types except the main light. The function is to cooperate with the main light to increase the brightness of the dark parts, improve the light ratio, adjust the tone, and create a local light effect. It can be adjusted by changing the lamp position, illuminance and beam size. The illuminance difference between the secondary light and the main light determines the tone contrast, and the secondary light should be lower than the main light. The auxiliary light should be soft light, not hard light, to prevent the second projection. The correct way is to arrange the main light first, and then arrange the auxiliary light.

Contour light: light used to outline the shape of the subject. The light source (a 5-watt spotlight is mostly used indoors) is located at the back or side of the main body, and its function is to form a bright line of outline, make the main body out of the background and highlight the main body. The illuminance of the contour light should be about 1 times greater than the main light (the main light should not be diluted), and a black background should be used. The irradiation angle should be small but not large, and the bright outline should be narrow rather than wide. When taking a backlit portrait with a side face, it is advisable to have bright lines on the forehead, nose, lips, and eyebrows to ensure that the fringe hair, skin hair, and clothing fluff are clearly visible.

Photographic light type and classification
Photographic light type and classification

Background light: The light used to illuminate the background of the subject. When the illuminance of the background light is consistent with the illuminance of the main light, the picture tone is coordinated; when there is a difference, it can highlight the subject; when the difference is large, the subject can be separated from the background. The illuminance of the background light can image the basic tone of the picture, high illuminance, the picture presents a bright tone; low illuminance, the picture appears dark.

Decorative light: also known as modified light, used to illuminate a part of the subject and modify the light. There are clothing light, hair light, face light, eye light, etc., which are used to highlight local details and texture. The light beam should be small and the illuminance slightly higher. The main light should be arranged first, then the auxiliary light, and finally the decorative light.



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