The Front Porch

This light setup is simple. Take your subject, and put them in the shade. Shade from a tree, or awning, or so on. Put them in the shade, but just barely. You, the photographer, now go stand in the sun and look at them. They should be lit by nice soft shade lighting, but their eyes will catch with the light of the world.

It's soft light, but not quite as soft as just shade. There is some falloff, some depth to the lighting. It's pretty great.

"Front Porch" lighting under a tree

Why does Front Porch (or garage) lighting work so well?

Think of the sky, the world behind you, as a giant light source, and in the shade, under the front porch, you have the base exposure. We are making light directional - coming from a direction - without making it hard or dramatic. There isn't that much difference between the shadows and the lit areas, but while it isn't prominent, it does exist, and provides a nice light falloff. Shadows fade into existence.

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