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  The 4 characteristics of light - Intro

All light, no matter what it's source, will have 4 characteristics:

  • Direction
  • Quality
  • Quantity
  • Colour

You may hear these terms referred to differently - quantity can sometimes be called "intensity" for example, but they amount to the same thing.

The key concept to take on board is that these 4 characteristics are the same no matter the source of the light - the sun, a headtorch, a £5000 flash head, a table lamp - each will have a direction, quality, quantity and colour as they relate to your photograph.

Now let's look at each of these facets in turn, starting with direction.

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