Exercise - 11 photographs
The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate and compare the effect of lighting from various angles on a subject using a single diffused light source.
For this exercise my camera is mounted on a tripod and a light tent used to diffuse light from a desk lamp which was moved around the object being photographed. All other lights in the room were turned off to maximise the effect of the lighting and prevent any light spill from ambient lighting.
Image 1 - Back lighting
|Image 1 - Back lighting|
Back lighting shows the strong outline of the subject but has limited depth of field. The statue is totally in shadow with no texture or detail visible. In some instances this form of lighting would be dramatic. To avoid overexposure spot metering and a -2.0 exposure value was used. This ensures the statue records as a silhouette and that the cameras metering system does not attempt to render the shadow as mid grey resulting in an overexposed background.
Image 2 - Back lit at an angle
|Image 2 - Back lit from an angle|
Image 3 - Side Lighting
|Image 3 - Side lighting 90 degrees|
Image 4 - 45 degree angle to the side
|Image 4 - Side lighting at 45 degree angle|
Image 5 - 45 degree angle from above and in front
Image 6 - 45 degree angle from above and behind
|Image 5 - Lighting above and in front|
|Image 6 - Lighting above and behind|
Image 7 - Front Lighting
|Image 7 - Front lit|
Front lighting results in less contrast and reduced shadows in the image. Although the object can be well seem there is reduced depth in the image and the lighting is flat. The shadow area is directly behind the statue and will show little detail. This is one of the least flattering styles of lighting if used in portrait photography.Image 8 - Overhead Lighting
|Image 8 - Overhead lighting|
Image 9 - Overhead to the front
Image 10 - Overhead to the rear
|Image 9 - Overhead lighting to the front|
|Image 10 - Overhead lighting to the rear|
Image 11 - Front lit from below
|Image 11 - Front lit from below|
In this instance and for this particular object my preferred lighting is seen in Image 4 - Side lighting at a 45 degree angle - although it would benefit from a little fill light to the left hand side. Although the form and texture can be seen in the subject the face is a little dark and lacks detail as does the leg area.
In this exercise the composition has remained unchanged with the focal point being the face and torso of the object. With a different subject or with a specific purpose in mind the preferred angle of lighting may be totally different. Understanding the benefits and qualities of each will help improve the final image.