Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics. Sure, when it comes to photography, you can play around with flashes and fancy lenses, but really, you're just going to make a mess of it unless you understand lighting in general. So, here's a lesson from photographer Jay P. Morgan on the "laws of light" and how they affect the final result.
Morgan takes a great approach to covering the basics of lighting. Rather than use a complex scene to demonstrate his points, <a href="http://">Morgan keeps it simple: a table, a white sphere and a light.
As such, it becomes immediately clear how the light interacts with the sphere as it moves, from the strength of the highlight to the length of the shadow. There's a bit more to it than that, as illustrated in the screencap below.
From here, Morgan is able to show how certain effects are achieved -- soft light, rim light, etc. -- and the different ways they can be executed, in a pure setting.