Musing Photographic Lighting.

As I near completion of the outdoor lighting exercises and painstakingly, line by line wade through ‘Light, Science and Magic’, I can’t put off the need to pick up the pressing topic of photographic lighting any longer.

This topic is completely out of my comfort zone though and that is a very good thing I suppose but my reading and general browsing so far confirms my fear that this is going to be anything other then intuitive. I know that I will eventually get there if I apply myself but do I want to?

Well of course I want to really and I know that I have come so far in 3 years with camera technicalities and composition but I have had 3 years.  The last two modules have been unfamiliar to me but the subject matter tapped into things that are intuitive to me.  This topic of photographic lighting feels like I am starting all over again and I have 6 weeks left to achieve the standards that I want to achieve for the assignment.

You see I love natural ambient light because I have to respond to it and pull out the best I can in emerging and evolving lighting situations – intuitively much of the time. That is the buzz for me.  I look at a speed light or a soft box and my heart just sinks because I know the mind skills needed in concentration, logic and attention are exactly what my last career injuries have left me in deficit of. I can have every tool under the sun but it takes me time. A lot of time.

In jotting these thoughts down, it has occurred to me to put ‘Light, Science and Magic’ down for a few days. It is a fantastic book and surprisingly readable  but I think I need to have a go at the module exercises that probably don’t make the assumption that we have lots of room or equipment to play with.  Perhaps I will find that my anxiety is completely irrational and that experimenting before I read any more theory will reveal an intuitive element to photographic lighting.

Perhaps I also need to accept now that the assignment images may not be up to the standard I want to achieve and take the pressure off myself to produce magazine quality product images – knowing that my preferred genre already makes it into magazines / books without so much as a speed light or reflector to hand.

My last assignment cited many references but I don’t think I will be able to this time.  Actually using the time to pick up the camera and play whilst using a couple of quality sources of instruction will be the better way forward this time.

In for a penny, in for a pound!  Watch this space.


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