Becoming a good photographer requires several things, and one of the hardest to learn is lighting. Virtual Lighting Studio is a free web app that lets you light a (pretty awkward) subject with up to six lights so you can see how each setup affects the image. Because lighting is one of those things that you learn best by practice, this is possibly the easiest way to understand what different arrangements can do for your image.
Virtual Lighting Studio not only offers placement, but types of light and effective brightness controls as well. Learning through practice in the real world would be costly — whether you rented a lighting kit, purchased one, or took a class — and you wouldn't have as many options. While you'll obviously need some actual experience to light well, as a virtual studio won't prepare you for the conditions you'll encounter in the real world, it's a great way to test setups and save the ones you like for when you're lighting an actual set. Even if you have no aspirations to work in photography or video professionally, playing around with Virtual Lighting Studio is a great way to know how light affects your subject. That's useful even for beginner photographers, who want to use natural light to their advantage.