Inverse Square Law


Natural Light Basics


Lesson Info

Inverse Square Law

Now here I am. This is a shot taken with my iphone, but it's with a single light source. The light source between these two pictures were the same, alright? What makes them different and why? It's the same light source, it's the same camera, but why does one look like this, and one... What's the difference here? Yes? [Woman In Audience] The light fall off? The light fall off, okay. In simple terms, you have a dark background and you have a light background. Is that important in portraits? Yes, because sometimes you want to see the background, and other times you want a black background. So would it be important to know how to do that? And really, this is what the inverse square law is. The closer the light source is to your subject, the darker the background. See how simple that is? Closer the light source, the darker the background. So if you're in a situation, and you want a shot where it looks completely dark behind them, and you just want to feature a portrait, get that light s...

ource as close as possible. The background will be completely dark behind it, okay? Other times where you want to show the background too, pull the light source away from your subject and the background will show up. Yes? If you were working, let's say you're working, when you say moving the light source closer and further away. Oh, yeah. If you're working in natural light with a window, you would actually move the subject-- Move the subject. In reference to the window. That's correct, that's exactly what I did here. Cool, awesome, thank you. This picture here, literally I was about this close to the light to give me the dark background. And then I moved back about right here to get the background. So let me show an example of that in the real world instead of looking at me, which is not good. Here, she's by the door. So, she's closer to the light source because that door's creating a nice channeled light into her. And then, what I did, see how dark the background is? Now I moved her back where that back wall was, and you can see the background change in likeness, in brightness, okay? So it's a very easy example there of showing how to use the inverse square law.

Class Description

Join award-winning photography Scott Robert Lim as he breaks down lighting basics and how to find great light and solve problems when in difficult lighting situations. He'll cover how to work through extremely bright light by using your environment and the available resources only. He'll also discuss how to use reflectors and diffusers to control the light and how to keep your set up really light with minimal gear and still get amazing images.


Phillip Tour

Great course!!! I learn a lot about natural light, im very good with natural light but I can't wait to get out of my studio and start shot again with natural light! Thank You Scott!!!

a Creativelive Student

Excellent Lesson from Scott. Easy to understand. One of the best CL Lessons I have ever watched. Good job

Luna Esterhuizen

One of the best classes of so far. I liked the way he demonstrated what he was talking about. Lots of fun and I learned a lot.