“HARD LIGHT” – WOW FACTOR
I finally gave it a go. Hard Light photography! WOW! I love this style. Not so long ago I wasn’t a fan of photos taken in hard light. “Why are they shooting in such harsh light” was what I was saying as I scrolled over a hard light photo on Pinterest. Fast forward three years later and I’m in love with this style!
"The shadows created from undiffused light have very harsh edges and a lot more contrast.""
I loved it so much I thought I’d share my insights into Hard Light Photography. I’ve binged tutorials, read up on shadows, observed the sun as it passes over. Now I’m sharing with you some information to help you better understand what Hard Light Photography is, and how and why you should explore it.
Hard Light vs Soft Light
To understand Hard Light we need to know what is meant with Soft Light and Hard Light. Often in food and still life photography we work with Soft Light, which is light that is passed through at least one layer of diffusion material. The light goes through that layer of material, and is then dispersed creating dreamy soft shadows that we often see in food & still life photography.
What is Hard light?
Hard Light is undiffused light that is coming directly from the light source —the sun or artificial lighting. The shadows created from undiffused light have very harsh edges and a lot more contrast.
TAP FOR SOUND!
Natural, or artificial lighting. Size matters.
Natural light —using the sun as your light source
Using the sun as your light source can be tricky, but it’s absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. When using the sun as your light source you’ll need to move yourself, and your subject in order to get your shadows pointing in the direction you want. If you have an idea in your head and the shadows are intentional, then time is literally of the essence, if you’re not quick enough the shadow direction will change, and you’ll have to move things around again.
If you’re working with artificial light you can simply move your light source up or down, backwards or forwards until you’ve created the shadow length and direction you like.
Having Hard Light photography in your profile can show potential clients that you can stand out from other food photographers. The side lit, still life style is my favorite, but almost everyone is doing it. Adding a bit of variety to your portfolio is sure to spice things up, and help you stand out amongst the amazing photographers in the food & still life branch.
This for me was a fun project, and something I would like to do more often. It really took me out of my comfort zone but I loved it!
Have you given it a try yet? Yes? Then tell me and the others reading what your experience was like in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by, see below the links to the free stock photos and video from this shoot.