Archive for light

It’s all about the light…. and taking great photographs of people!

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26 October 2016 by misselisabethuk

As some of you may know I have two blogs currently running, one for the first module of my BA Hons in Photography (Expressing Your Vision) and this one, which is more a record of my thoughts and gives you a glimpse in to my life, likes and other shizzles.  Some might say this is the more interesting blog, some might say “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis”, anyhoo….

Today I went on a photography lesson carried out by a Pret-a-Portrait photographer. I always like to sniff out these opportunities whilst on holiday as they invariably impart some small priceless piece of information which becomes invaluable later.  This lesson was no different; a couple of golden nuggets of information was shared and I will share them with you in this blog.

The lesson was primarily focused about studio lighting for portraits, which is one of my current interests so I used the session to maximise my understanding of how lighting works and fortuitously part four of my course is about light so it was very apt and topical.

The first part of the lesson was a standard presentation.  I had been to one of these session before so knew the format but the additional things I learnt, which maybe I should have already known, were:

  • When the shutter button is pressed one door (curtain) opens and when the shutter closes another door (curtain) shuts.  Many times I have seen the ‘second curtain’ referenced and I now know this means the closing shutter.
  • It is OK in studio to use 200-400 ISO so you can increase the aperture.
  • Hard light produces dark shadows and soft light produces lighter shadows.
  • A smaller light source produces harder light than a larger light source.
  • The terms ‘High Key’ and ‘Low Key’ are derived from the main light source, known as the Key Light.
  • The broad side is when the side lit by the Key Light is facing the camera and the narrow (or ‘short’) side is when the side not lit by the Key Light, the shadow side is  facing the camera.

This may have all been obvious but it is good to hear someone tell you, and also see it done in practice.

The next part of the lesson was the practical bit….

All these images were taken as ISO 400, 1/200 sec. and f/22.  I used my Canon 70D and my Sigma 17-50mm lens which was mostly used at the long end (i.e. 50mm).

The first image (top row, left hand side) shows a High Key set up.  This was achieved by having two lights lighting up the background and a large octobox as the Key Light.

The second image (top row, middle) was achieved by turning off the two lights which were lighting up the background.  This is almost Rembrandt lighting; the main light source is at 45 degrees to the subject and a second light source (which is missing here) is about 1 f-stop less bright directly behind the camera (to lighten the shadows). 

The third image (top row, right hand side) was achieved using a black back ground and a beauty dish.

The fourth image, complete with lens flare, (bottom row, left hand side) was achieved by using a standard reflector with a grid on.  A grid stop the light spilling out of the sides of the light modifier and directs the light in one direction.

The fifth image (bottom row, middle) was achieved by placing a white screen on the opposite side of the subject to the light source to reflect the light spilling past the subject.

The sixth image (bottom row, right hand side) was achieved by placing a black screen on the opposite side of the subject to the light source to absorb the light spilling past the subject.

It is important if you are going to be a portrait photographer that you make your subject/s feel relaxed; talk to them to make them feel at ease, tell a joke, make fun of yourself – whatever works!  You will get more natural shots if there is a relaxed atmosphere.

Lastly, a word about ‘posing’ there are a number of different approaches to this:

1 – The completely un-posed picture – choosing a good spot and waiting for the right moment.  Stage manage.

2 – The posed picture – directing the subject to a precise pose and look but taking their mind off being photographed.

3 – The semi-posed picture – arrange and direct to a point then leave an element of chance.  This option may result in more photographs but you will not know which will turn out the best until the shoot is over.

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought when trying out your own photography.  I certainly now have a lot more set ups I now want to try (and practice) as a result.

Low levels of light…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , on 25 November 2015 by misselisabethuk

Dark nights mean artificial lighting for my photography projects, unfortunately, as I have yet to set myself up with some proper studio lighting.  So it occurred to me that there were more sources of light than the obvious room lighting, there was also light coming from our portable devices; phones, iPads etc.

So here are the results of my little lighting experiment… Enter my daughter and her iPad… 

The first one is my favourite as I managed to get the glow from the iPad onto the face…

I hope this inspires you to go and try this for yourself. 
    
   

  


  

Light trails, night motion…

Posted in Daily Jollop with tags , , , , , , , , , on 11 October 2015 by misselisabethuk

This is part 2 of my experimentation with slower shutter speeds and my first time of taking any photos at night.  I share with you, below, a couple of photos I took last night not too far from where I took the photos for my last post It’s all about the motion… 

Warning!! you will need a tripod for this and a gentle button pushing finger action 🙂

 

Watling Street: 4 sec. f/11 25mm (Lightroom used to reduce the sodium glare from the streetlights)

Watling Street: 4 sec. f/11 25mm ISO 200

 

Watling Street: 4 sec. f/11 17mm

Watling Street: 4 sec. f/11 17mm ISO 200

 

I used Adobe Lightroom to reduce the effects of the sodium streetlights, taking out the orange/yellow glow.

Hope this inspires those of you who are new to photography to give this a go, or those veteran photographers to go and take some more night shots!

Have a lovely weekend all.

 

%d bloggers like this: