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Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash by Joe McNally

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One Light, One Shadow

THERE’S ONLY ONE LIGHT IN NATURE. It can appear in many different guises—hard, soft, warm, cold. It can hit objects and scatter, fragment, reflect, or disperse in wild and unpredictable directions, thus looking like more than just one light. But at the end of the day, when we fade to black, our world has been illuminated by one big, natural source of light—the sun.

Which, unless it has banged off of some irregular, reflective shapes—such as a metallic building with lots of angles—will produce one set of coherent, singular shadows. When the sun is hard and straight, the shadows it creates respond accordingly. They go in one direction, and have clean edges that are sharply shaped.

Hence, if we choose to mimic that behavior ...

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