Applying lighting techniques
Prepared by: Theodora Grivopoulou, 512340
Photography 1: The Art of Photography
April 07, 2014
The objective of this assignment is to use lighting to bring out particular physical properties of the same object. Using the new knowledge of the lighting, I needed to take 8 photos showing the following qualities:
This quality has to do with the outline of an object – its edges. These are likely to stand out more clearly if they contrast with the background. and if there is minimum detail visible in the object.
This is another way of describing the volume of an object – how 3 dimensional it looks. The modelling effect of the light and the way you deal with the shadows is all important. Try to show as much depth as possible in the subject.
This is a quality of the surface detail. Fine detail, such as that on sandstone or skin stands out best with a pattern of small, hard shadows, so you will have to consider both the diffusion (or lack of it) and the angle of the light. Of course, a shiny surface like chrome, although it is thought of as being smooth also has a texture of a kind.
Chose a kind of lighting and exposure setting that shows the subject’s colour (or colours) as strongly as possible. In addition, you could photograph your subject in any other interesting, unusual or attractive lighting.
For this assignment I selected to use a hand made wooden mask because I love this object and I thought that I would produce interesting photos.
Photography is about light. Lighting is the language of photography and I am in the elementary level. I fell that I haven’t devoted enough time for this part of the course. From the very beginning mastering various lighting techniques was a challenge for me. The book Light – Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting (one of the essential books for this course) seems very difficult and complex to me. I need more photos and less text and I prefer videos showing step by step each technique.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
For this assignment I haven’t used any special lighting gear. I do not have a flash and I wasn’t sure if I should buy one. I have created a macro photo studio from a used printer cardboard box and tracing paper as diffuser. I used portable desk lamps and whenever available ambient light. I have used black, white and brown boards for background, reflectors and light blockers. I want to experiment more with various materials such as glass, metal and leather. It is interesting because each set up needs different parameters and lack of equipment can excite my creativity. I tried to use the tripod in some cases but I prefer to be free and move around to find the best lighting angle.
Quality of outcome
I am pleased and somehow impressed since I have never before used similar techniques. For the first time I have indeed manipulated the light! I am now more aware of the importance of handling the light in order to bring my ideas into being. It is a great convenience to set up a small studio and experiment.
Demonstration of creativity
Creativity requires commitment and passion. I haven’t been very passionate because I was in awe of the projects. Work issues troubled my mind and I haven’t approached the assignment with ardor. The most creative part is being forced to work without specialized equipment. I had to invent new ways to work. I usually find it hard to preconceive a photo and even comply with the assignment’s requirements but this is part of the learning process.
I am constantly considering giving up this course. But once I find the energy to work I get passionate. I must motivate myself and forget my daily worries. Every completed assignment even if unsuccessful is a big step for me. I usually worry of being perfect and this becomes an obstacle. I get satisfaction not so much from the photos but from the process of making them. Now I find myself asking “Where is the light coming?”, “Is this the best angle?”
My research was restricted in seeing others students’ assignments and searching the Internet for information about setting up a home studio, product photography in order to see how professionals work and inspiration.
1) Michael Freeman, (2010), The photographer’s eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
2) Hunter, Fil (2011) Light – Science & Magic, An introduction to Photographic Lighting
3) Wells, Liz (2009) Photography: A critical introduction (2nd Edition), Routledge
4) Prakel, D (2007) Basics Photography: composition. Laussane: AVA Publishing