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What is tangential lighting?

Question:

What is tangential lighting?

Direct vs Indirect Lighting:

Direct lighting refers to a light source that is applied directly to one specific area. Direct lighting creates shadows that help to highlight an object or surface. Indirect lighting refers to a light source that is spread out to illuminate a wider area. Indirect lighting helps to make surrounding areas of an object more visible while helping to prevent excessive brightness.

Answer and Explanation:

Tangential lighting (a type of direct lighting) involves shining light on an object/surface from a very low angle in order to make bumps, imperfections, contours and/or movements on a surface more visible. For example, some surgeons will use tangential lighting on the skin to help them see the contours of the skin with better clarity which will allow them to make more accurate incisions. Tangential lighting applied to the neck can also help make the pulsations of the carotid artery (large artery at the side of the neck) more visible.


Learn more about this topic:

Light & Optics: Real-World Applications

from FTCE Middle Grades General Science 5-9 (004): Test Practice & Study Guide

Chapter 8 / Lesson 16
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