Let there be front light

Front light can be very dramatic or really dull. It is good for portraits as long as we avoid the harsh hours from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Front lit images can be boring so we have to step up our compositional game with front light. Direct front light can be used best to add vibrancy to an image, making colours pop where diffuse light would mute those colours.

Note: Directionality is based on the angle of light according to the camera, not the subject.


The Guard House at Machu Picchu, Peru 2008. Direct front light emphasizes the colours and texture of the fitted stones.


Zion, Utah in 2018. Direct front light at mid-day adds high contrast to this black and white image.


The same image in colour shows the effect of stark mid-day direct lighting on colour saturation.

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