Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Quick Tip On Lighting In The Studio

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

50% OFF new PortraitPro 12, plus EXTRA 5% OFF code EPHZROS414
Category: Studio Lighting and Flash

Hard And Soft Light In The Studio - Matt Thompson has a quick piece of advice on creating hard and soft light indoors.

Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
In my last article I explained how and when you get soft and hard light outdoors and the effect it will have on your images, but how does this translate to the studio?

Just to recap: Hard light occurs when light comes from a small light source in relation to the subject and creates higher contrast and casts harder shadows. Soft light occurs when light comes from a larger light source in relation to the subject, creating lower contrast images as the light wraps round your subject creating less shadow.

Soft light, flattering shadows Hard light to show detail
Above: Hard light showing detail.
Left: Soft light, flattering shadows.

Both Photographs - © Matt Thompson.

In the studio we can move our lights closer or further away from the subject and this will have some effect on the hardness of light, but often not enough. Remember the size of the light, and it’s effect on your subject? Perhaps you are shooting a man and it’s important to capture those weathered lines on his face that will show his character? By using a small light source, say a light with a small reflector, you could create an image with more contrast that picks up the lines and details in the man’s face.

Alternatively, perhaps you are shooting a woman and it is important to shoot her skin in the most flattering way possible. Here a much larger light source is what is in order, perhaps a big soft box that is a bigger light source and of course diffused.

Matt Thompson is a London-based photographer and his areas of of specialism are portraits (editorial, documentary, fashion), plus interiors and architectural photography. Matt runs workshops (places are limited to 3 participants) and his next workshop on studio lighting takes place on Saturday 19 May 2012. Visit Matt Thompson's website for more details.

Win A Manfrotto Photo Tripod And Bag

See what competitions and other exciting content Manfrotto have on their website:

Explore More

Lighting A Wine Glass With Rim Light

How To Create A Glass Rim Light On A Budget

A quick budget way to light a wine glass with the edges high...

How To Make The Most Of Your Camera's Built-In Flash

Making The Most Of Your Camera's Built-In Flash

Many cameras have a built-in flash which can be used in more...

Movment And Studio Lighting

Capturing Movment With Studio Lighting

Andrew Mason gets creative in the studio with inventive ligh...


leogoz  1 United States
14 May 2012 - 10:40 AM

Good tips and photos.

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.