Hard vs. Soft Light in a Photography Studio

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Hard versus soft lighting are each very important, but need to be used at different times in different situations. Learn about hard versus soft light in a photography studio with help from an experienced director of photography in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Lighting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dan Reinecke with Unknown Media. Today, I'd like to show you the difference between hard and soft lighting in photography. Now I have two lights set up here, one is a much harder light and one is a much softer light. The light I have over here is my main source right now, is a much softer light. It's a big light and it's diffused quite a bit. Now the light over here it's the same distance away but it's just a much harsher light. Now I'm going to show you the difference between it so you can see it for yourself. Now this is with the light on and this is with the soft light on as well. As you can already see it's a much harsher light coming in and as I take this down as you can see how much stronger the shadows are with the hard light that's falling on me rather than a soft light. And again now I'll show you with a soft light on and the hard light off so you can really see the difference. Now you notice how the shadows fall much more gradual on my face and it's a much more flattering look and I'll show you one more time. So as you can see this isn't necessarily per say a bad look it's just a much different look. It's a lot harsher and this may not be good for lighting female in a portrait per say. So, as you can see that was the difference between hard and soft lighting in photography. I'm Dan Reinecke, take your best shot.

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