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Outdoors the brightest source of light is usually the sun. In the studio, the sun's role is filled by the main light. Like the sun it's the brightest source of light and casts the darkest shadows.


MAIN LIGHT - Same as "Key light"- the principal source of light, usually in a studio, and generally the brightest light on a subject or scene.

Main Light see Key Light
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A little makeup may do what a lot of lights can't; too much, especially on close-ups, is worse than none. Tip: Examine makeup under your lights.

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Main light source that may cast predominant shadows.
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Main light see Key light.
Mask is an opaque material used to cover the edges of the printing paper, and thus produce borders when the paper is exposed to light.

The main light is at the bottom left, with the fill light at the right. The fill light should be one to two stops less bright, it's purpose is just to fill in the shadow created by the main light.

The main light is close and feathered to give a little wrap around. The rim light is also feathered so only the edge of the narrow beam lights subject.

Unlike the main light source, the simplest location for a fill light is near the camera's line of sight ("on-axis"), but not so close that it appears in your image.

81 The main light is the primary light source illuminating the subject. It is usually set at a 45 to 60-degree angle from the lens axis.

Pushing the main light further round to the side gives this second setup. The light is now more or less at 90º from the camera, the fill light hasn't moved at all.

Outdoors as Main Light: Photography is all about the quality, amount, and direction of light. The more efficiently these factors interact, the better the photo. All three are part of the picture making equation.

Also called a main light, the key light is usually placed to one side of the subject's face, between 30 and 60 degrees off center and a bit higher than eye level.

Using the flash as main light means that the majority of the scene is lit by the flash's burst of light. Fill flash is used to fill in shadows or areas that would be rendered too dark without additional light.

In addition to the main light, I also used two Photoflex HalfDomes, which work great as rim lights.

Broad portrait lighting is when the main light is illuminating the broad side of the face and the shadow from the nose is being cast onto the short side of the face.

Using direct sunlight as your main light source is usually frowned upon because of its deep-shadowed contrast. If you get out early enough, though, dawn's first rays can work for you, as proven by Theophilos Papadopoulos's caper flower here.

You can even use the flash for your main light source and downgrade the sun to being a fill-in or back-light.
Mixing light sources within your pictures, such as fluorescent lighting with a burst of off-camera flash will add colour to the background.

When shooting in nature, we rely on the sun as our main light source. Most professional photographers know that the best light of the day comes at two times, the beginning and the end of the day.

Two weeks back during a photo shoot I had a problem with a wall power outlet that caused my main light to go off.

Reflectors are often used in photography to soften the effect of the main light or to bounce illumination into subjects shadows. Light does not always fall exactly where you want it. For this reason reflectors are used.

Fill-in flash looks most natural when it's about a stop darker than the main light. When the flash-to-daylight ratio is too even, or when flash overpowers the existing light, the balance looks false and draws attention to the fact that you used flash.

A lighting effect produced when the main light source is located behind the subject. Backlighting can be used to create a silhouette effect.

At the other end of the scale, the Panasonic ZS10 tends to produce somewhat muddy results when flash is the main light source, but copes very well when it comes to fill flash in brighter daylight conditions.

Most people tend to squint when they are facing the sun - the main light source on a sunny day. If the sun is too direct the subject may begin to squint, which obviously ruins the portrait.

Left and right of the model's head, I used two Striplites as the main lights. They were directed to the camera and therefore created a nice gradation from the eyes toward the ears with a rather dark contour all around the head.

KEY LIGHT - Also called "main light." The principal source of light on a subject or a scene, usually in reference to a studio light.

You can turn off the main light and measure the fill lighting with a meter, you can move lights around to vary their strength, etc. But if you're taking a candid photo outdoors you have no such control.

To get a little more of a dramatic effect, I moved the main light slightly more behind the ball and used a small silver reflector card to light the Super Bowl XLVII logo.

Yourself (the photographer)
The object(s)
The main light sources (the sun, flash, other lighting)
To understand light photography you need to understand what are the effects of the position of light source relative to the photographer and objects.

This will make the lights look their clearest, as tungsten is a manual setting used for shots where the main light source is household light bulbs.

Keylight - the photographer's term for the main light source that can cause predominant shadows.
Kilobyte (k) - these days, a very small unit of digital data storage. 1024 kilobytes make up 1 megabyte (MB) and 1024 MB equal 1 gigabyte (GB).

Reflector
Substance from which light can be reflected. It also describes a white or gray card used to reflect from a main light source into shadow areas.
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More Photographic Terms ...

High Key is a lighting descriptive term that is characterized by having the fill light be at or near the key (or main light) to produce a more uniformly illuminated image. High Key images have low contrast.
Highlights ...

-Broad lighting - portrait lighting in which the main light source illuminates the side of the face closes to the camera.

Additional light from a lamp, flash, or reflector; used to soften or fill in the shadows or dark picture areas caused by the brighter main light. Called fill-in flash when electronic flash is used. Also see Balanced Fill-Flash.
Film ...

- A Key Light. The strongest light and sets the lighting of the scene
- A Fill Light. Helps to fill the shadows where the main light can't reach
- A Back Light. Lights from the back to enhance separation.

Fill-in
Light from an additional lamp, flash, or reflector; used to soften or 'fill in' the shadows caused by the brighter main light, often the Sun. Called fill-in flash when flash is used.
(see Reflector) ...

Then you use flash as your main light source. You can either use TTL to get proper exposure of the subject or you can use a combination of manual flash and aperture setting to get proper exposure on the subject.

Fill-flash: A method of flash photography that combines flash illumination and ambient light, used to soften or fill in the shadows or dark picture areas caused by the brighter main light or backlighting.

Fill-In Light (or flash) - Additional light from a lamp, flash, or reflector; used to soften or fill in the dark picture areas caused by the brighter main light.
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Also they tend not to emphasize the shadows of a subject which can lead to a feeling of depth. My answer to that is to use the ring-flash for my main light and to use a small strobe like the YS-01 to add light from an extreme angle to lend depth to ...

The only light in the picture is used to accent a certain feature or to create a mood for the image. The effect is accomplished by setting up at least a two "stop" differential between the main light the rest of image.

One strobe is close to the lens, one is off to the side. It's a portrait type of lighting, where you have a key light that's your main light source, such as the sun, and then a fill, which is the equivalent to the open sky.

These are great in a pinch-providing fill light under a harsh high noon sun and creating the main light needed to remedy dark indoor conditions. They have some drawbacks, however. Deployed in a fixed position.

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See also: See also: Main, Photograph, Light, Camera, Photography

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