Light Painting Tips and Techniques: Angle of Reflection Equals Angle of Incidence
As always, if you’re viewing this in an email, please click the title of this post to see the blog, which offers a better viewing experience.
In my light painting workshops and presentations, I talk a lot about lighting theory, and how I believe that it is easier to understand how light works if you can break lighting theory down into just a few basic principles. In this post, I’ll use an image that I just made this past weekend at the workshop I was teaching. I always do a demonstration on the first day of the workshop, and this time, I decided to shoot a vintage industrial blower that I found a few months ago. I love the patina that these old machines and tools have gathered over many years of use.
One of the most important principles in lighting theory is that when light strikes an object at a certain angle, it reflects at the same (yet opposite) angle. And so we say “The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection”. Think of a billiard table. When a billiard ball strikes the bumper on the side of the table, it bounces off at exactly the same (but opposite) angle. Of course, this happens only if there is no spin on the ball. I have yet to figure out how to put a spin on light!
Please see the short tutorial video below the image!
If you’re interested in learning about light painting (and so much more!), please consider attending one of my upcoming workshops! You can find the information HERE.
Photograph by Harold Ross