Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Exercise 3: Experimenting with light

So I moved on to the third exercise the next time I had some free time. I had arranged for one of my friends to pose for me, but she had something else come up, so my brother had to suffice again! (just kidding, thanks Rob). The first image (below) was lit using window light on a cloudy day alone:

This is a fairly soft, but nice modeling light. It is reasonably directional, but just generally from the right hand side of the picture as it was a large window. It creates shadows on the left hand side of the nose, and face, and under the left hand side of the chin. It is appealing light, and models the face well.

Next I used the same light source, but I've added in a silver reflector on the left hand side of the picture to bounce light back into the face.

This is a very soft even lighting, with just enough modelling, but very few, and very soft shadows. This is very flattering lighting, and is a light I would use quite frequently with female sitters, as it gives a very soft look to the skin.

Next I used the blind to cut out the natural light and resorted to a flashgun. This light was bounced off the wall and the ceiling behind my head

This is an interesting lighting, it creates soft shadows under the chin, dimples in the cheek, and around the eyes. This isn't perfect, and would work better if a bit more light reached the eyes, but mimics daylight lighting quite well with the directional lighting from above.

Next I utilised some desk lamps I had laying around. This had one lamp directly behind the head, and one behind and to the right (looking at the photo)

This lights the narrow side of the face, causing the side of the face nearest the camera to be in shadow, and creates a rim light on the hair. This is a fairly dramatic lighting. This could maybe benefit with a bit more light reflecting back into the shadow just to lift a bit more detail from it, but this sort of lighting would be good for maybe a writers portrait as it is dramtic, and almost creates that dark work room sort of look.

The last shot I went for a shot with flash again, this time off camera and direct, from below and slightly to the left, using a fairly narrow beam

This has created a very harsh light, a very dramatic light, with very hard shadows on the left hand side of the face and nose, and a lot of the hair disappearing into the background. It creates the appearance that the sitter is almost emerging from the unknown. It does emphasise any imperfections on the skin though, so has to be used with care.

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