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Three Important Concepts to know for Lighting

July 5, 2010

(I shot this beauty shot with Julie.  It was a test of using the ring light which you can see the shape of reflected in her eyes.)

There are three concepts that I think are the most important to know in order to light a picture well.  There are a lot of other concepts within these three concepts but I will try to explain it as best as I can.  The three concepts are the specular, the shadow, and the diffused light zones.  I will start with the first one this week, which is the specular.  First, the term specular refers to the reflected light off of a surface.  It shows the dullness or shininess of the subjects surface whether it be skin, fabric, or material.  In the above picture, you can see the specular off of her forehead, along the nose, off the cheeks, in the eyes, and also on the diamond earring.  When the light of the specular is so bright that it is considered a blown highlight than the term for it is a specular highlight.  That same light in the eyes is called a catchlight.  Tomorrow, we’ll cover one factor that affects specularity.

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