.Edge Lighting | Chroma Key Software edge lighting

Posts Tagged ‘edge lighting’

postheadericon Edge Lighting

Highly atmospheric and striking effects are possible to achieve when the light strikes your subject from behind but slightly to one side. Off-axis back lighting can give considerable atmosphere to a photograph, with a glow softening the high contrast. This glow is in fact a mild flare, and so needs to be kept under control. Flare is by no means always something to avoid, but you should be certain that the effect you get is really what you want rather than a lowering of image quality. The two hallmarks of flare are a line of bright polygons across the frame and an overall haze that weakens contrast and color. The first of these is caused by light striking the aperture diaphragm inside the lens. Flare also happens if your subject is surrounded by white – a close-up in the snow, for example, or a typical still-life “product shot” set against a white surface.


You can make a quick check for flare before shooting by lowering one hand in front of the lens; see if the picture in the view finder becomes crisper and slightly darker just before your hand comes into view. In fact your hand or a piece of card, will make an effective mask for flares but in any case you should fit a lens shade. In most situations, photographs look better when the lens is shaded, but you can also make flare work to your advantage. With telephoto lens, the overall flaring tends to spread light, and sometimes color, all across the image. The flare from an orange setting sun can look very attractive. If there are any pinpoint lights or reflections in the view, flare can sometimes give them a halo-you can even exaggerate this effect by smearing a very light film of grease on the lens (in practice, on a filter in front of the lens). Occasionally, the overlapping string of bright polygons and other streaks of light can add to the feeling of the sun’s intensity. As always, experiment for yourself.


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