What is the inverse square law of light, and how does it affect your photography? Karl Taylor demonstrates the effect.

If you’re new to studio photography or you’re looking to start shooting with artificial lighting, i.e. strobes and speedlites, then you may have come across the term: “the inverse square law of light.”

So what is it, exactly? Simply put, the inverse square law of light dictates that your light falloff will quadruple as the distance between the subject and the light source doubles. Still confused? Watch these great videos by UK photographer Karl Taylor, where he explains and demonstrates the effect, and why it’s relevant for photographers.

As you can see, the inverse square law is an important consideration to keep in mind when you’re shooting multiple subjects, or when you’re lighting your background with the same light as your subject.

For the technically curious, Karl includes the diagrams explaining the light falloff towards the end of the second video.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below!