Assignment 4: Applying Lighting Techniques

Choose any subject you can move around and make images to fulfil the following briefs using any form of lighting from the range practised in this section.  Aim to show the following qualities: – shape, form, texture and colour.

When I read the brief for this assignment I was a bit unsure about it as it asks for approximately 8 images taken to show 4 qualities around  one object using any lighting practised in the section.  To fulfil this assignment as it asks, I think you’d need to have two settings, one indoors and one out which then means you don’t have any choice really in the lighting used as that’s dictated by the setting, broadly speaking artificial type light indoors and natural outdoors.  I wanted to show the level of learning I’d achieved for artificial type lighting and didn’t feel that an outdoor scenario was possible, given the weather and the now extended time-frame I’d taken to complete this section.  I therefore decided to submit only 4 images on this occasion.

Image 1: Shape: f/1.8 ISO 100 1/4000″ 50mm prime

Image 1: Shape

I used my photographic light source in its reflector box and with the diffuser I’d rigged.  Experimenting with the shutter speed, the shaping of the diffuser and using live-view, I finally came up with this image which I think is slightly different to what I’d expected when I started.  I’m extremely pleased that the outline of the bust is sharp but that some of the wording on the ceramic is still just visible and the shape of the diffuser has given it that difference in appearance.

Image 2: Form: f/5.6 ISO 100 -0.67AEB 1/30″ 50mm prime

Image 2: Form

Once again I used the diffused photographic light rig, but I also introduced a second light source by way of my mobile ‘phone flash set to continuous output.  The light rig is set at right-angles to the bust and the ‘phone light is in-line with the left shoulder of the bust.  This deepened the shadows on the opposite side of the ‘phone light and added depth to the dimension.  This method also gave me an unexpected bonus of reflected light from the supposed semi-matt background material producing several additional shadows stepped across the busts’ right cheek.  I initially was concerned about these shadows, but on reflection I decided that they enhanced the image and gave it an additional perspective and look.

Image 3: Texture: f/5.6 ISO 100 1/20″ 50mm prime

Image 3: Texture

This image required a lot of experimentation and I was extremely surprised with the combination that produced the best result.  The diffused photographic lighting rig at right-angles on the left of the scene with a card placed part-way across the light stream and natural light from multiple windows to the rear and over the left shoulder of the bust.  I think this worked because although I didn’t have a variable photographic light source, the card ameliorated the effect from 40 Watts of white light sufficiently to provide a nice even light across the front of the bust whilst the natural light picked up the crackle finish on the ceramic glaze.  This created short, hard shadows to lift the texture and enhanced it above that of the other three images in this series.

Image 4: Colour: f/5.6 ISO 100 1/25″ 50mm prime

Image 4: Colour

There’s not much colour on this object, only the black text and blue borders, of course the ceramic glaze has a white colour, but can white be called a colour?  Anyway, to get the lighting right I used the diffused photographic lighting rig at right-angles on the left of the scene and natural light reflected from an angled board covered in crumpled cooking foil in front of the scene, plus the natural light from behind and over the left shoulder of the bust.  This lifted the amount of light falling onto this scene above that of the other images in the series and brought up the blue borders to a different looking hue.  It could be said that all the images should have the same colour border, but as the light is different in each scene to enhance a different aesthetic, then this very well-lit scene is just another variation.

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