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Shadow darkness and shadow edge transfer

July 13, 2010

(I shot this in a studio with Daniela Dib)

The second and third thing to know about shadows is how dark the shadows look and how distinct the line is between shadow and diffused light zone called the shadow edge transfer.  If we look at the last picture below, you can see that the shadow casted by Leza is quite dark because I was using only a small camera flash to light her.  Now to lighten the shadows on the second photo, a fill card or reflector or in this case, a white door used to reflect the light from the main light located on camera left.  The reflected light is lower in intensity but it lightens the shadow area on camera right.  The third issue is the shadow edge transfer, that distinct line between shadow and diffused light you see on the second and third picture still exist even after we lighten it.  On the above photo, to have less of a distinct line or a more gradual shadow edge transfer, I used a large modifer (it can be a huge umbrella, a softbox, etc).

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