For these exercises, I have used my selection of existing portable studio flash equipment. It is quite basic but includes everything I need to complete the exercises.
Exercise: Softening the light. The objective of the exercise is to compare two photographs taken with diffused and direct light. I set up the light as suggested and used a 60cm soft box as a diffuser. Camera settings for both shots: Manual 1/125s 52mm ISO100 WB: flash
- The diffused light is slightly blue in colour.
- The shadows are very deep and black with the undiffused light. The diffuser also softens the edge of the shadows.
- There are reflections in the shiny side of the bowl with undiffused light.
- The undiffused light gives a contrasty image.
- The diffusion in this case is an improvement. There are no harsh, distracting shadows.
Camera settings Manual 1/125s f8 70mm ISO100 WB: flash (Silhouette f32)
|8068: Light in front, next to camera|
8069: Side, right of camera
8070: Behind and to one side (right)
8072: Directly behind (silhouette)
Camera settings Manual 1/125s f8 90mm ISO100 WB: flash (light to rear f16)
|8078: Front 45º|
8079: Right side 45º
8080: Right side to the rear 45º
8082: Behind (f16) 45º
8074: Above to the front
8075: Above to the rear
Conclusion: The lighting position that reveals the form of this object best is with the light at 45º above and 45º to one side (8079). This is because it is the most natural angle (ie the position of the sun in the sky) and one that we have evolved to use to interpret the form of objects. It makes them easy to understand visually. Frontal lighting gives a rather flat image although it shows the textures in the sculpture well in this case.