Hard Light

Hard light is created by light sources that cover a small surface (can also be puntiform light sources). Here the light source’s absolute surface coverage is not relevant but instead the distance to the illuminated object. This explains why the sun, despite its diameter of ca. 1400000 km, due to its great distance from earth (ca. 150 x 106 km), is perceived as a punctiform light source. It has the respective effect on the image result.

Artificial light sources with small reflectors (e.g. built-in or external flash devices) create hard light, even if the dominant shadow cast by the front light and sculptural effect of hard light, is somewhat muted. Illumination from the side casts a lot of shadows. Depending on the subject’s structure, it obtains more plasticity. This enables people to appear more distinctive in portrait images.

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