LIGHT QUALITY
DIRECTION
With An EGG


by Florence W Deems Deems

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Here an egg poses as the model to illustrate the direction that light can come from and how this shapes the subject. I got this idea from Joe Edelman's video. However, I can't post a video here, so I shot an egg using a single household lamp as the light source.

Please click on the images to see a larger size.

Front Light Rear Light
Side Light Top Light
Side Rear Side Front
Top Rear Top Side

As you can see, direct front light gives almost no form to the subject. We call this flat light. When form is not important, front light is useful, for instance for shooting flat subjects. Direct rear light gives no form, but is useful for making silhouettes. To give form, and therefore more interest, to a subject. side lighting is best. Top lighting can also produce interesting details that bring out form.

It is important to consider the direction and also the angle of the light that's hitting our subject, before making an image. We can ask ourselves, "Is this the best light direction/angle that will show the most interesting, or maybe the most dramatic, aspect of the subject?" If not, we can move ourselves in relation to the subject so the light shows more form. If we can't move the subject, then we might be able to apply artificial light - or simply wait for the sun to change its direction.

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