Broad vs Short Lighting

broad lighting vs short lighting comparison

When starting out in photography you kind of just put your subject out in the sun or near a window and as long as they have light on their face, you think 'that's good' (I know I was there when I started).  After a bit, once you dive in more, you start to learn that lighting is key in photography.

Broad vs Short Lighting
These lighting types can be accomplished using natural or artificial light sources (window light was used in the above examples). To the left we have broad lighting, notice the majority of the light is on the side of her face that faces the camera the most. It lights the broad side of her face, this type of lighting will make the subject appear fuller and adds dynamic.
Short lighting, in the example to the right, the light is on the side of her face that is least visible. This type of lighting is great for thinning out your subjects, contouring and adding drama.

Do you practice short and/or broad lighting? Which is your favorite?


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