40. WARM UP TO HARD LIGHT

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HARD LIGHT IS what you get on a sunny day without a cloud in the sky. It makes for crisp shadows, high contrast, and often, great color. Inexperienced shooters sometimes try to avoid hard light because it has a reputation for being unflattering and less forgiving, but when used strategically (for certain high-contrast compositions), it can actually be an asset for capturing strong, colorful, and graphically rich scenes (Figure 40.1).

During the peak of my time photographing high school seniors, I was routinely scheduling four students per day, which meant I was photographing at all hours, including the famously harsh ...

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