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Placing Shadows, 3rd Edition by Tom LeTourneau, Chuck Gloman

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Chapter 3

Lamps, Reflectors, and Lighting Instruments

What Is the Difference?

There are two basic types of illumination: specular and diffuse.

Specular illumination is the type found outdoors on a bright sunny day, when the light rays are strong, sharp, and nearly parallel to each other. As a result, they cast sharp, well-defined shadows on your exterior location site. There are also artificial sources of specular illumination for use in the studio or on exterior sets. They are carbon arc sources or specially designed discharge lamps with smooth, well-polished reflectors and some form of lens system.

Diffuse illumination is the type seen on a cloudy, overcast day when the sun’s rays are diffused by the clouds to produce soft, scattered rays. ...

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