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28 Nov 2021

Specular Light

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.

light-qualities-05

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.

Lighting-101

Other Related Terms:
Soft Light
Hard Light
Diffused Light
Specular Light

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