Saturday, 8 October 2011

Part 4 Light–Project: Photographic Lighting 1

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
8057: f13
8058: f9
I have noted the following differences:
  1. The diffused light is slightly blue in colour.
  2. The shadows are very deep and black with the undiffused light. The diffuser also softens the edge of the shadows.
  3. There are reflections in the shiny side of  the bowl with undiffused light.
  4. The undiffused light gives a contrasty image.
  5. The diffusion in this case is an improvement. There are no harsh, distracting shadows.
Exercise: The lighting angle. The object here is to demonstrate the effects of moving the the light around the object. For the first four shots, the light is kept at the same level as the camera.
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)
The next four shots were made with the light at a 45º angle to the set. Light position as indicated.
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
The last three shots were made with the light directly overhead, slightly to the front and slightly to the rear.
8073: Above

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.

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