Lighting is crucial to the type of photograph you want to take. there are four types of light natural light, reflected light, artificial light and diffused light. Natural light, is light that comes from one main source and sets a single set of shadows out and is entirely dependent in various factors such as weather, location and time of year etc, this makes it vary very much in regards to brightness and contrast. Diffused light, is light that is passed through a diffusing material before hitting the subject, this is good in portrait photography. a diffuser creates less contrasts and less shadows. Reflected light, is light that is reflected off of a reflector before actually making contact with the target. bounce light akin of reflective light in that the flash is bounced off of a reflector and onto a white, ceiling, background or wall. Artificial light, is light other than natural that is used to illuminate something, say any light from a bulb or electrical light of any kind. artificial light can be used indoor and outdoor on location each of these are very helpful as you can alter light to your liking. flash of light can be either an attachment to the camera itself or a separate and mounted flash far away from the camera itself.
The image above has been taken using two separate different lighting methods. On either side the far left side a beauty dish has been used. a beauty dish is a lighting device that uses a reflector to spread the light towards a main focal point. the end result of the light effect here is between that of a direct flash and a soft box which give the image contrast but controlled contrast as the light has been reflected too. on the right of the image above is a “deep octa” effect or a soft box affect which gives a smooth and bright ‘soft’ affect on the subject’s face. a soft box is used in conduction with a light diffuser so the light source itself is inside the box. the light is evenly distributed across the whole portrait and not just on a focussed area as the beauty dish does.