It’s all about the light: sidelight

Sidelight is exactly as it sounds – where the main light source is coming from the side. You can create or find sidelight in a number of different ways:

  • Photograph indoors next to a window, with the natural daylight hitting your subject from the right or the left. See the examples below with hard and soft sidelight.

  • Outdoors with the sun as your light source. Early mornings and evenings will produce the longest shadows and aesthetically pleasing images, whereas in strong daylight / sunshine the results could be very dramatic and strong, with short shadows and strong contrasts between light and shade..
  • With flash – bouncing it from the left or the right if you have an external flashgun.

Whatever the light source this exercise should get you appreciating how different lighting makes your subject look, impacting on the mood of your image.

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