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Highlights on running water
Highlights in the eyes and on the earring

Highlight , also spotlight (short lights , French Coup de jour ) in the painting refers to the patch brighter color orders for light reflections and optical highlights at individual points of the subject.

The term was later adopted from photography and describes bright, significant points in the subject, which are caused by reflections from bright light sources, e.g. B. the sun arise.

Highlight lights arise, for example, on moving water surfaces or other uneven, reflective objects. A highlight can also be created by a light directed from behind at the edge of the main motif. Such a light source is referred to in the light guide as an edge or hair light .

Highlights enliven facial expressions in portrait photography . The eyes get a glow when lamps or windows are reflected in them as small points of light. The highlight should be arranged to the side of the pupils. The example on the right shows a painting in which highlights enhance the facial expression of the woman depicted.