Specular light is a light that retains its reflective qualities. When this light hits a subject, the reflective light bounces back into the camera.
A specular highlight is a bright spot of light that appears on shiny objects when illuminated. It's crucial to those in the 3D computer graphics industry, as they provide a strong visual cue for object shape and location with respect to lights within the scene.
This light has stronger highlights and stronger contrasts. Showcasing a hard and specular light quality, the image below was created using a silver reflector. This reflects light especially on oily and moist areas of the face to invoke a certain emotion that would be lacking if diffused light was used. Typically, action and sport photographers use specular light for its high contrast and reflective qualities.
Related Articles to Specular Light Definition
Understanding the Qualities of Light – Slice of Pye Ep. 5
Welcome to the live series we’re doing bi-monthly on Profoto’s Instagram called “Slice of Pye”. We’ll be covering a myriad of topics…
How To Use Light Direction & Light Quality To Take Better Portraits
Is there a wrong or right way to light a portrait? That all depends. This quick overview of light direction & quality will help you shape light that’s right for you.
How to Create Soft Window Light ANYWHERE with Flash
Ever want to re-create natural window light after the sun goes down because you just can’t get enough of it?…
Behind The Scenes On A Fitness Shoot With Tarek El Moussa
Come behind the scenes with us on a fitness shoot with celebrity Tarek El Moussa! We’ll show you how easy it is to create dramatic fitness portraits.
Spyder5Capture Pro Review | Camera, Lens & Color Accuracy Workflow On Tap
Calibration of color and lenses isn’t a sexy subject of conversation, and I wouldn’t recommend bringing it up at a…
Simple One Light Beauty Setup With A Parabolic Umbrella | Anita Sadowska
We live in a youth-obsessed world where beauty and self-expression are the global currency that make up a multi-billion dollar…
Shooting Creative Portraits With Inexpensive Lights
You may not need the most expensive strobes out there.