The inverse square law of lighting


The inverse square law of lighting

Many considerations come into play with group portraits: posing, wardrobe and the right camera angle among them. But lighting adds an additional layer of complexity and potential confusion. This is because lighting group portraits is technically counterintuitive, or at least it was for me. In this month’s column, I’ll demystify one of the governing principles of lighting, known as the “inverse square law.”


A quick Google search brings up this definition of the inverse square law: “any physical law stating that some physical quantity or strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.”

You can skip the following paragraph if math scares you. But if you want to understand the basics of this law, read on.

Get the full story

To read the full article, launch the digital version of the March 2014 magazine.

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

yt thumbnail natural soft studio light

Creating Natural Soft Studio Light with One Strobe

We’ll show you how to master the art of creating soft and natural light portraits using off-camera flash. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, this tutorial will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to enhance your portrait photography skills.

Read More »
yt thumbnail lens breakdown

Lens Breakdown // Getting Started in Portrait Photography

Are you a passionate photographer eager to capture mesmerizing portraits that truly speak volumes? Look no further! Discover the crucial role that lenses play in transforming ordinary shots into extraordinary masterpieces, and learn why investing in the right glass is paramount to unlocking your full creative potential.

Read More »