Soft or diffused lighting is one of the most natural and warmest ways to light actors. Soft light wraps around facial features for a sensual, glowing look. Hard or direct lighting, the opposite extreme, creates angular shadows that can highlight facial blemishes. Outside of stylized effects lighting (such as in horror or film noir movies), hard lighting is rarely used for illuminating actors. Figure 21-1 shows how traditional direct light is very harsh and unforgiving.
In figure 21-2, I’m sitting in the same position, but the hard light has been replaced by a soft one. Shadows are less distinct, so the face looks smoother. ...