Photography means writing with light
There are different kind of light situations when shooting:
- Soft light
- Hard light
I would like to tell you about the difference between the lights and what it means when taking pictures.
The hard light
The hard light is typically a light that comes from a sop and the direction is given; like in landscape photography the sun when there are no clouds. Because of this fact, the hard light brings a lot of shadows into a picture. Looking overall to such a picture, there are a lot of contrast in those pictures.
Of course using this technique, the eyes will focus towards the light and not the shadow area of the picture. But in the shadow area, the details will be lost and not visible for observer of the image.
That is not the situation I prefer because the strong light effect leaves outside the light spot everything in the dark. I kind of think it is not feeling interesting to me.
The soft light
The soft light is more the situation I work with – sunrise or sunset (mostly sunset) I prefer to take pictures.
There are also shadows in the soft light, but not as tough as the ones from the hard light. Also the light comes from one direction, just not as concentrated as the hard light. It is more a light source with a diffusor in front of it; like clouds cover the sun and there is a brighter light overall the scene. The clouds in front of the sun scatter the light so there is a way smoother situation.
I figured over the years that hard light give in certain situations some depth into the picture and the observer has a more “realistic 3D view”.
The soft light has a lot less contrasts in a pictures and has a lot less drama in it. But this is where image post processing comes in. I simply change the picture the way I like it and try to guide the observers eyes towards the direction I want it.