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by evan-pak

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What is the difference between an active and a passive fill light? I have an assignment that states to "use active or passive fill light" in a picture, but I need some clarification to understand what that means.

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On the plus side, the usage of 'or' means that it is hard to choose wrong! – Phil Sep 8 '12 at 9:52

Passive lighting is reflected light, such as with reflectors. Active is the opposite, an actual source of light, such as a light bulb or flash.

But I must say these are terms I try to avoid since many people have different views on this. I really only use the term Passive lighting when I am outside and use a reflector to bounce the sun.

I am not sure if there is such a thing as specific "fill light" version of passive and active.

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What are some of the different views that people may have? – Imre Sep 8 '12 at 4:12
@Imre I've heard people say that only ambient lighting is to be counted as passive, reflected or not. Such as a tv, monitor, fish tank or whatever else that reflects, refracts or emits light but where that is not the intended feature. Others I know would count a TV as being active light. Difficult to get a very clear meaning in my opinion. – Alendri Sep 8 '12 at 23:12

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