Laws of Light: Loookign at the Quality of Light

This video, part of a series “laws of light” by photographer Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens we look at the quality of light.

On this video we look at hard vs. soft lighting, how to differentiate them, how they work and how to achieve softer light. If you . It is worth mentioning the previous videos in this series which we published before – Laws of Light: Sphere and a Cube and Laws of Light: Lighting Three Objects.

The main point of this video as we mentioned in to understand the quality of light – quality in this context refers to the way the light hit your subject. It can be hard – and in this case you will get strong sharp drop of light as you look away from the center point where the light hits the subject (this is why we think of this as point light) or soft if the light spreads more gradually.

If you want hard light have a strong source of light relatively further away from your subject if you want softer light the best way will be to have your subject receive reflected light instead of direct light – you can use a reflector for that (although there are specific lights which are built in a way that they already output reflected light instead of direct light – making them output softer light (this of course mean that they will be less powerful than comparable conventional lights).

Photographer Daniel Norton recently covered other aspects of soft/hard light on a video which we published here just a few weeks ago. We would also highly recommend that you watch these two other videos which are also sort of introductions to lighting which we published a few years back –  Basic Portrait Lighting Techniques and A Look at the Five Main Portraiture Lighting Patterns.

You can find lot more lighting tutorials on our photography lighting section here on LensVid, and you can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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