A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

The Fill Light

 
Click to explore the fill light.
A fill light represents the light that falls on an outdoor subject from the broad expanse of an open sky, or reflecting from surfaces in the landscape. The fill light is almost always less bright than the main light, in fact about half as bright. Its relative brightness can be controlled in a number of ways. For example, it can be placed farther away from the subject, you can add a diffuser, or you can use a less powerful light.

The fill light, placed opposite the main light, opens shadows by lighting the dark side of the subject facing away from the main light.

The fill light on the right of the subject is moved from close to the subject (left) to farther away (middle and right). The closer it is, the more it lightens shadows created by the main light.


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