Tutor Report Form
Student name: Eddy Lerpiniere
Student number: 506079
Course/Module title: Ph1: Art of Photography
Assignment number: 4: Lighting Techniques
Thanks for your assignment, albeit a bit underweight. It is a shame that you didn’t produce more images here, and you felt restricted by the weather conditions/the brief specifications. However, if you are using daylight, there is no reason why you need to necessarily be outside. A nice large window on an overcast day can provide a nice ‘softbox’ kind of light source. Bear in mind as well the ‘hardness’ of a light source often depends on the distance between it and the subject. So, for example, a highly diffused (‘soft’) light source will cast some quite harsh shadows if it is at a distance to the subject, with low ambient light.
When you are experimenting with different light sources, it is useful to keep a sketch of the proximity and position of light sources, reflectors and camera and subject, which can be useful for future reference.
On the point of reflectors, it doesn’t seem like you have played around with these very much. I would strongly suggest you do. As a rule, I try and do as much as I can with a reflector before introducing flash and/or continuous lighting. I liked your converted bedside lamp. I’m all-for DIY photography gear. We have had a load of celotex insulation board delivered which has a foil backing. For about £20 – 50 per 8’x4’ sheet they make fabulous reflectors (big enough to bounce light on to a house really). Will definitely be hanging on to the off-cuts!
I think you’ll see from the updated images I’ve very much improved on my first efforts with reflectors by purchasing a very cheap, ready-made and stretched painting canvas, covered in plastic wrap, which I’ve used on some of the images. I think the work I did initially was poor as I followed the instructions for reflectors from the course notes and my personal feeling is that it’s not that effective by comparison to the one I use now.
This submission definitely needs to be extended as it is too light as it is. Play around with other light sources, (now we’ve got some better weather) take it outside perhaps, and also experiment with using your flash (assuming you’ve got an external flash) and bouncing it off different surfaces.
I think that there’s now sufficient images to show that I’ve reviewed the feedback report and shown my learning from that course section by the number of different light sources used and images presented. Unfortunately I broke the bust whilst attempting to produce some images using a high-intensity light source from a projector which prevented me from experimenting further for this assignment.
Feedback on assignment
I think this was a challenging object to select for this assignment, and one that has offered some interesting possibilities, because of its form, but also because of what it is. I don’t think you’ve really exploited this as much as you might have perhaps. With the exception of the first image, the other three are very similar in terms of framing/composition: You need to physically move around a subject (ok, perhaps this isn’t always possible, if you’re photographing a mountain or something!) to really get a sense of where the light is falling and how it is effecting it, and where the most appropriate angle for the camera is.
Also, (and as you demonstrate in your first image), although this might seem like quite a heavily technical exercise, there is no reason why you can’t try and make some really interesting imagery. Quite a lot of students follow a similar approach by placing the object directly in front of a light source for the ‘shape’ category, but in this instance, the less formal shape of your ‘softbox’ makes a really nice contrast to the very recognizable form of the head. The mix of grey tones as well as a lot of black and some white is nice as well. The monochrome adds to the simplicity of this image. Is has a kind of futurist look to it.
There is some good work on your LL and your ‘Associated Studies’/’Musings’/’Research is strong: I wish all students would engage with the critical side of things as well as you do. I’m afraid I haven’t mentioned this earlier, but it would be good to simplify these headings into just one, I think. Having recently returned from assessing, it is very apparent that online LLs need to be really simply laid out. In this respect, yours is, however, I think your research and reflections would be better off in just one place, listed chronologically, so that your ‘learning journey’ is clearer. By all means ‘tag’ different categories (study visits…book reviews…), which you should be able to do fairly easily with wordpress. And actually, a different menu for your other ongoing projects might be useful (call them ‘projects’, so as not to confuse them with contextual research).
I’ve now changed the structure of the menu system to what you’re suggesting and I’ll certainly bear this in mind for learning logs in future modules
Some more research/reflection of work by practitioners/singular images, where light is of particular significance (the qualities of light and how these effect the feel of a picture, for instance) would be good to have alongside your exercise in this unit. Can you get some examples from recent study visits, for example? Also, think about the temperature of the light: how does this affect the atmosphere of am image?
I don’t know to what extent perhaps you may feel like you are ‘going through the motions’ with this assignment. Definitely have another go at this, taking in to account my feedback.
I look forward to seeing you at the study visit soon, and seeing how your project is progressing.