"Softer" lighting?

I’m not quite sure if softer is the right word. What I mean is, any surface that is not in direct line of sight with the light source is 0,0,0 black. How do I give the shadows more feathering + not have the back of my object be pitch black.

here is what i’m currently working withhttp://s1.postimage.org/f6t88dxgo/hard_Lighting.png

If you use just one light source, your shadows always gonna be solid black. So, you can add enviroment light, or some fill ligths. You can also increase the samplig of your shadows to make softer shadow’s borders.

ok. thanks a million.

Area lights work great for soft lighting. You can increase the size of the lamp (don’t scale it! adjust the parameters of the lamp itself) and shadows and material falloff become softer.