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3775 Market Stree NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

We're a small-town, family owned and operated photo lab that never gave up on film. Today we provide top-notch film processing, scanning, and printing services from film and digital with the best customer service in the industry.

Blog

How to Read Light

PhotoVision Team

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#filmtipfriday What if we told you there was a simple way to ensure your clients are always in the best available light? Use this trick to help your clients live their #bestlight. Every. Single. Time.

⁠⁠Learning to read light is critical to the success of your photography, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! All you need is your hand. Yep, that’s right—that digited mano can help you discover the most flattering light.

⁠⁠Here’s how: Place your hand in the same space you plan to shoot and slowly tilt it back and forth, up and down. Notice how the light illuminates your hand differently depending on its tilt toward or away from your light source. Your hand represents how the light will fall on your subjects’ faces, so when you go to place your subjects in the scene, you know exactly how to position them for the best results.

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Direct Light: As your hand tilts toward your light source, it becomes evenly lit with little shadows in the creases. This direct light will produce a portrait with even, bright light on your subject’s face.

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Side Light: Tilting your hand so the light source is directly to the side causes harsher shadows to appear in the creases of your hand. Parts of your hand are illuminated while other parts fall into shadow. This sidelight will produce a portrait with greater contrast on your subject’s face.⁠⁠

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Backlite: Turn your palm 180° away from your light source. Your hand is now backlit and your entire palm is in consistent lighting. Backlight will produce a portrait with even lighting.⁠⁠

How do you find the best light? What do you think of this trick? Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

📷 by @ashley.faiman on #fuji400h with a #pentax645.⁠⁠