First, I'm not trying to be rude at all! . I love the work you do... But not everyone is an expert. I suck terribly at shadows. It takes practice! You shouldn't just flat out say it's WRONG. I know I'm nowhere near being a professional with manipulations, it takes time. Instead of using the word WRONG in all CAPS, maybe you should be a little lighter with the chosen word. Text is hard to interpret in emotion. I don't know if it was an example you made or someone else's work... but words can be taken harshly. This is a great tutorial, but there is always a chance of having a secondary source of light. We can't read other people's minds, maybe they had it in their head that the butterfly (which is glowing...) was a source of light and it would actually make a very soft shadow there if so. Other people may not care to be EXACT. It's a fun hobby to have, don't put someone down because the shadow isn't correct. I think the only reason to put someone down because of that if it was for a test or final in school. If not, then leave it be... they had fun making it! (Again, I hope you don't take this as being rude )
i would like to point out a few thing that you said about lighting, the thin strokes of lighting are there often in rim lighting or back lighting and is often used to separate the subject, the model from the back drop, now you are right in some aspect but most of the examples that you gave are illumination from from the back ground source, now the rim light or back lighting is there as the silhouette obstructs the light and the mistake you showed in you work was not completely wrong as i imagine the glowing butterflies or the puddle is acting as a secondary source of light,
and the human body is not a sphere or a block but the contours and shape defination are similair to that of a sausage or cylinder, tappered,
now i havent mentioned rimbrant lighting, clam lighting, 3 point lighting and out door light is always soft as the first contact is always with the hair and it washes down so most models or photographers use a studio and use reflectors. beauty dish and clam effect
i dont want to bore you as im a huge fan of your but hardling effect is used actually when you want to create contrast between light and darks and mjranum used three point lighting or two different sources as if there light on the models back then the light cant be on her face and hands, with the backdrop white
i am not a photoshop master like you but i do have a phd in physics
even though you have done this for photomanipulators, it's actually a good basic guide for traditional artists too. it's like basic lighting 101, reminding people that it's there and some of the best ways to optimise it. although, like with most things in art, it comes down to a certain level interpretation rather than set rules. i've always felt that light and perspective are sort of linked and often used the two together in my works.
I agree with some parts(we should always pay attention to the light source and how they project shadows) but not with every example you gave and I'm gonna tell you why:some lights are painted to make it look dramatic and more intense even if they shouldn't look so intense and maybe they even should be there at all....this is a style,ppl who painted it like that are not looking to make it look super real.And I'm referring at the example of the girl with her foots on the water.I don't consider that at mistake but more of a style where lights and shadows are exaggerated on purpose.
yes light often dont apper near shadows but imagine holding your hand up in a dark room but out at a windowm forget the subsurface scattering due to the epidermous in the tissue but the light will only hit and bounce of the outer rim or contours of your hand and the rest of you hand will see darkm
look at your first and last three example, even though the last one has a few flaws butlight also obeys the inverse square law and as light falls on another object, depending on the relectivity and emission constant that object becomes a secondary source, in the night just turn on a flash light at the roof and see if the celling reflect back an light, and if that light hits (reflects of any surface)
you did not understand what i ment, i ment you showed a mistake in one of you works, that was not a mistake the girl with the wings and light on her feet it could be light from the secondary source, the puddle...
and some of the reference or images you used a pictures from a single view,
i've worked in studios for FH, coca cola, your definations for hard and soft light were accurate and the soft shade and light cast were right. all i was saying is that light behaves differently ,a thin line on the outer contour is often mistaken, as light has an inverse square law.it is ofetn a soft halo frpm a 90 degree perspective.
and yes physics and art are totaly different but leonardo da vinci, rapin, picaso all used, 3 point lighting, back lighting, clamp lighting, da vinci realised how to fake a portrait look using white sheets, my point is not that i am giving you my opinion but there is more to lighting..
because when i worked in studios, i saw the light and camera tecnetions used, lights, reflectors, screens , clamp stand, so many thing,
you see most of the photographers in DA are hobbiest, and the real photographers hide the techinques very very well, and to general people we all think we can replicate the same techinques, my point is not to say you are wrong but you see the last examples had rim ligting, no the light reflecting of the girls chest will have a fall of not highlight contours
I totally agree that there's no way the light looks like that... Anyway your article do have a strong point,i do agree that the lightning it's very important and i also get to see it a lot of times used in a wrong way, shadows that are missing or put where they shouldn't suppose to be.