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Canon® EOS Rebel XSi/450D Guide to Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch

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Diffusing and Softening the Light

Direct light can be harsh and glaring, especially if you’re using the flash built into your camera, or an auxiliary flash mounted in the hot shoe and pointed directly at your subject. The first thing you should do is stop using direct light (unless you’re looking for a stark, contrasty appearance as a creative effect). There are a number of simple things you can do with both continuous and flash illumination.

  • Use window light. Light coming in a window can be soft and flattering, and a good choice for human subjects. Move your subject close enough to the window that its light provides the primary source of illumination. You might want to turn off other lights in the room, particularly to avoid mixing daylight ...

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