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Even if you shoot the same subject, the impression of the photograph is greatly changed by lighting. This is because the angle and intensity of light affect the exposure and how shadows are created.Let’s see how the combination of the angle of light and the position of the subject makes difference.

The angle of light is roughly classified into the following three types.

  • 1. Front light
  • 2. Side light
  • 3. Back light

1. Front light

Front light illuminates the subject from the front (camera side).
As the subject is directly exposed to the light, its colors and shapes are rendered clearly and precisely. This lighting is suitable for shooting landscapes, rendering a blue sky and trees vividly.

Shot with front light

2. Side light

Side light illuminates the subject from the side.
This lighting tends to cast clear shadows on the subject, creating strong contrast between light and dark. It is the most suitable for creating depth by adding shadows to the subject.

Shot with side light

3. Back light

Back light illuminates the subject from behind.
By shooting with back light, you can make a food photograph look delicious, or give a soft atmosphere to a portrait. On the other hand, as the strong light enters into the lens, the subject tends to be dark. In such cases, use exposure compensation to adjust the brightness of the subject as you like.

Shot with backlight

By understanding the effects of lighting on how a subject is rendered, you will be able to shoot a photograph closer to your image.
For example, when you shoot indoors on a sunny day, using the light entering from the window is effective. If you stand with your back against the window, you can shoot with front light. If you face the camera toward the window, you can shoot with back light. To shoot foods or flowers indoors, using back light is recommended.