Slains Castle

by pakman

submit your photo

Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Sign up ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

It's the difference between your main light and fill light expressed as a ratio of brightness. Example: if your main light is twice as bright as your fill light, the ratio is 2:1. A high ratio will give a more contrasty effect, as shadows cast by the main light will still be dark. A lower ratio means the fill light lessens the effect of shadows cast by the main light, giving a flatter effect.

Note a difference of one f-stop is a factor of two, so a ratio of 2:1. Similarly, two stops is 4:1, and three is 8:1.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.