Light may also be classified by its direction with relation to the subject.
There are four of these classifications for light (natural or artificial).
high contrast - harsh shadows
This is a typical example of the harsh shadows that
result when the sun is high in the sky. When it is
necessary to shoot at this time of day, flash "fill" can help.
flat, lacks depth, dimension
may require additional fill or reflector
good for bringing out textures, defining shapes
The side lighting brings out the texture of the petals and emphasizes
the cactus spines.
(clouds filtering sun)
lower contrast, good for details, fewer shadows
The diffused light from an overcast or partly cloudy sky
allows you to see the details of the coyote's expression
and the variety of shades in his fur.
Another characteristic of light is the quality, often defined as "hard" or "soft."
Hard light is very bright, resulting in sharp shadows, while soft light is diffused, displaying
better range of details, as with the Overcast condition mentioned above.
|night-time outdoor shot with artifical overhead lighting & flash
|early morning sunlight