Exercise 14: Shiny surface.

This exercise is about dealing with reflections in shiny objects.  We needed to take a small shiny object and photograph it once to observe reflections -as in image 1. Next we had to fashion some sort of diffuser out of tracing paper to fit around the lens and subject – as in Image 2.   The final image is Image 3 with the tracing paper deliberately showing.

Image 1.

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Image 2.

This had been my DIY diffuser that I curved around.  My balance isn’t very good and I found the whole exercise very awkward. I soon realised that the cardboard bottom had to go as reflections were still apparent. Even though cardboard is white there was too much reflection still creeping in.

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Image 3.

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Conclusion:

Yes, diffusing light helps to stop reflections. I am not sure tracing paper is the way forward though and I won’t be trying this again until I have a light tent at my disposal. The technique described in the folder was very difficult for me as my balance isn’t much good and I am prone to falling and tripping….hence it looks like I haven’t made much effort here. To be honest I prefer the original image. If you choose your surroundings well then you can be creative with reflection. I do understand that commercial photographers have specific briefs but this genre in a commercial setting is not for me.

Exercise 13: Concentrating Light.

The notes explained how light can be concentrated into a ‘spotlight’ and the exercise required us to look at ways of doing this. First I used my continuos lighting with ‘barn doors’ before trying a desk lamp with a home made tube.

Image 1.

The continuos lamp is extremely powerful, so wherever the light falls will be very bright. However, the ability to render the back ground into darkness by simply altering the angle of the ‘barn doors’ can’t be argued with.  I left the background TV set on so that I could explain that two sofa’s  between the dining chair and the TV have been rendered obsolete.  The shadows are harsh around the bowl because the the light is hard and bright even when moving the light away. Diffusing the light would have defeated the object of the exercise. Using reflectors proved to be hardly worth the effort – so I didn’t bother. Placing the light at the front of the scene at least pushed the shadows behind somewhat.

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Image 2.

The same lighting technique is used here but situated higher. Light positioned so the flowers don’t fall into shadow. The continuos lighting  has, again, eliminated the backgrounds ambient light.

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Image 3.

For this image I used a desk lamp and a paper cone to illuminate the tyg. I wanted to see how a less powerful light and some background ambient light could work. This is a little more similar to the example given in the notes.  Because the light is much less powerful then my professional continous lighting there is more room for creativity in my opinion.

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Conclusion:

Still life is not something I enjoy on any level but the lighting technique has been useful to experiment with. I might well add to this exercise with portraiture to see how these techniques can transfer to something I do enjoy.

Exercise 12.

For this exercise the project notes  asked that we use different reflective materials to study the effect on the shadow cast on to a still life.

Image 1a) and 1b) are taken without reflectors used. The material and distance used  for the other sets are noted above each image.

Part 1.

1a) Direct light. Harsh shadow but great contrasting detail in the orange.

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1b) Light with diffuser. The shadow is mush softer but enough shadow to give a sense of depth. (Apologies – not in focus)

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Part 2

2a) White card @ 100 cm.

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2b) White card @ 50cm.

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2c) White card @ 20cm.

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Part 3.

3a) Dull silver reflector @ 1oo cm. (little difference)

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3b) Dull silver reflector at 50 cm. (Still little difference in shadow).

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3c) Dull silver reflector @ 20 cm. ( noticeable difference but shadow not eliminated)

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Part 4.

4a) Bright silver foil reflector @ 100cm. (noticeable difference)

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4b) Bright silver foil reflector @50cm (Shadow broken with mottled light)

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4c) Bright silver foil reflector @ 20cm. (Shadow broken and I quite like the effect.)

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Part 5.

5a) Crumpled foil @100cm.

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5b) Crumpled foil @ 50cm.

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5c) Crumpled foil @ 25cm.

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Conclusion:

Apart from Image 4c I didn’t like the effect given by any of the reflective materials but it was a useful exercise in how material and distance affect the end result.

Exercise 11: Part 3.

 

For this part of the exercise the instructions were to lifts the light to be pointing down at a 45 degree angle.

In doing this we can see that the light is casting a compact shadow at the base and around the neck of the vase.  This gives a more 3 D effect to the jug.

I prefer  image 2, the diffused version as the shadow cast under the handle in Image 1 is unsightly, However I like the makings of the ‘fall off’ in image 1. It is the first time I have achieved this and always wondered how it was done!

Concluding the 3 parts to this exercise:

I have found this exercise extremely beneficial in learning about photographic lighting and how we can manipulate it to give form, shape and depth.  This exercise will stand me in good stead for the impending assignment.

Image 1.

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Image 2.

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Exercise 11: Part 2

 

 

For the second part of this exercise we had to alter the height of the light but otherwise it was the same sort of exercise as part 1.

 

1a)  As before the bare bulb eliminates the light reflection in the glaze. The shadow again is heavy but the lighting angle has made the shadow shorter in length.  I realise now that this is where a second light or reflector might help.

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1b)  Diffused light has worked well on the shadow and kept an even backdrop light. However the reflection in the glaze is too much.

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2a)

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2b)

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3a)

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3b)

 

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Exercise 11: Part 1

For the first part of this exercise we were instructed to set up a simple still life and place the camera level to the subject.  We had to take 4 x 2  images with the first image being bare bulbed and the second image with the light diffused. The light had to also be level to the subject and each pair of images had to have the light placed at different points from front to back.  I have merely cropped these images so that they serve as reference to not only the changes in the main subjects shadow but also the colour shifts in the whole scene.

1a)  We can see a strong shadow but, oddly, I was expecting the glare on the glaze to be much worse.  The harsh shadow gives a sense of depth but overwhelms the scene.

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1b)  Here the light is much softer but there is a distracting shine on the glaze.

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2a)  Here the shadow on the jug is more interesting but, again, the shadow is overpowering. I can see the light is bouncing off the wall on camera left and throwing a white shadow into the glaze.

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2b) This is a reasonable pleasing image with a softer shadow.  The diffuser glare is too big though.

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3a) The light here is obviously positioned opposite the shadow fall and I notice that this has the affect of dimming the back drop.  Unfortunately the the table top is reflecting into the glaze.  Overall though, with a change in table top material,  this lighting situation has some merit to be explored further.

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3b)  Sentiments as above but the shadow is softer and the backdrop in brighter.

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4a)  This a very dramatic bare bulb back lighting. I’m not too sure about it really and I certainly don’t like the way the light is picked up on the very fine detail in the table top.  However, this observation may come in useful for the assignment.

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8)  The shadow is much softer and flattering here.  I have some way to go with getting the diffuser positioning correct!

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