This assignment has been extremely beneficial in building my non existent confidence in the subject of additional photographic lighting. The earlier exercises were good to work through as a revision of skills that I have already attained. The course notes took us through all the basics that are needed to grasp the concepts of light temperature, exposure, metering, ISO etc. There was nothing new in the early exercises for me but the project regarding additional photographic lighting is completely out of my comfort zone and I was extremely concerned at what lay ahead for me.
I have learnt about family of angles as well as well as techniques to bring out texture, cope with shadow and reflections. The exercises in lighting positions was superb to build confidence and to watch how the light falls. I also found the exercises with diffusers and reflectors very interesting. My decision in using continuos lighting I believe was the right one for now. Adding speed lights to the mix will come in time.
This assignment is more about the beginning of a journey rather then the end. I think I have demonstrated each required technique in ambient and photographic lighting to a reasonable standard.I have used my Sony a55 and Tamrom 60mm f/2 lens for the assignment. The choice of subject is explained in more detail in the self – assessment. The studio light used was a Sachtler continuous lighting head.
The links to my learning log are here:
Considering my lack of additional photographic lighting experience I am not too upset with the end the end results. I had really anticipated all kinds of horrible experiences. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the exercises and feel this has probably been the most beneficial learning curve so far on the course. I don’t really see the assignment submission as something I am going to ‘write home’ about but I am more then happy that I have started along a new path and gained some confidence. I feel that I have met the criteria for the assignment.
My choice of subject for the assignment was based on the thinking that I don’t like the genre of still life and that preference is unlikely to change for now. I decided that using a foam head would help me with my portraiture and I was more likely to benefit from this subject then anything else. I might have gone for macro photography but, again, I only like dabbling with macro photography in the outdoors.
I think I have demonstrated the elements learnt throughout the module sufficiently via my learning log.
As for further research, I decided early on that I could very easily get sucked into the endless books and tutorials on this subject and become easily confused and end up spending a lot of money on equipment that in reality I am unlikely to use in the near future. If I was going to stand a chance of building my confidence then sticking to the course notes and two other solid books was going to be the only way forward hence the references are on the thin side compared to assignment 3. At one point just putting down the books and experimenting was the way forward along side looking at other photographer work.
I found Light, Science and Magic extremely readable and useful. It would be impossible to memorise everything in the book but I am now familiar with all the issues surrounding lighting for photography and will keep the book as an essential ‘first port of call’ reference. I wasn’t able to get Michael Freeman’s ‘Light and Lighting’ until further into the module but this is a very useful book in explaining the basics.
A mind map helped me to absorb the basics from Light, Science and Magic as you can see in the research link
The first few exercises weren’t quite to the standard I wanted to produce but I had been plagued with flu and bronchitis for a month and wanted to push on regardless.
Unknown. (2014). Houston FotoFest. British Journal of Photography. n/a (n/a), 12 & 24.
Hunter,F, et al. (2012). Light: The Raw Material of Photography. In: Unknown, Light, Sience and Magic. 4th ed. Kidlington: Focal Press
Freeman, M. (2012). Photo School, Light and Lighting. Lewes: Ilex. 1 – 138.
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