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A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget by Jay Holben

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Hard Light

Noon sun on a cloudless day is a perfect example of hard light. Although the sun is a gargantuan light source (more than 100 times the size of the Earth), it is very, very far away (about 90 million miles). The farther away an object is, the smaller it looks—hence the farther away a light source is, the smaller its physical size relative to the subject, and the harder its light will be. Cloudless sunlight is very hard light. It creates very sharp shadows and narrow, defined shadow transitions.

A sunny Sunday afternoon. San Diego Chargers running back Michael Bennett sizes up the competition under harsh sunlight that casts deep, sharp shadows on his face.

Likewise, if you look at a clear glass light bulb, the filament inside the ...

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