Saturday, 12 January 2013

Assignment 4 - Applying Lighting Techniques

Assignment 4

For this assignment you must choose an object which is easy to move around and take 8 images each in a different kind of lighting to demonstrate shape, form, texture and colour. You can also photograph the object in any other interesting, unusual or attractive lighting. As with all my other assignments these images have been sent as prints to my tutor with accompanying notes on technique etc.

Image 1 - Shape
Back lighting was used here to define the objects outline.

Black card "stoppers" were placed on either side and above the object to prevent any unwanted reflected or incidental light affecting the scene. By moving the light source closer to or further from the object the contrast in the scene is changed. I have selected an image with a slight vignette which accentuates a subtle change in contrast around the object. This has the effect of making it appear to "glow" and exaggerates the subtle highlights along the curved outer rim of the object.

Although a complete silhouette would have demonstrated "shape" just as well the subtle light leaking into the shadows around the object gives further visual clues. This changes the image from a 2 dimensional silhouette to an image which is 3 dimensional and has more depth.
Shape 1

Image 2 - Shape
By using the sun as a light source and side lighting the object its shadow demonstrates shape but in a completely different manner.
Shape 2

Lighting to demonstrate form
In order to demonstrate form in an object variations of light and shade are required. This gives an object a 3 dimensional appearance. The position of any light source will have an effect on the degree to which form is revealed as will the strength of the light source. Lighting which is too direct will produce very strong highlights and shadows which may reduce the appearance of subtle contours likewise lighting which is too soft or diffuse will produce flat results and reduced contrast.

The following 2 images demonstrate the use of lighting to show form.

Image 3 - Form
In the first of the two images the object is lit at a 45 degree angle to the side and slightly in front. A black reflector is placed opposite the light source to block reflected light and help deepen the shadows.

Form 1

Image 4 - Form
In this instance the object was placed on a sheet of black perspex and lit at a 45 degree angle from above and slightly behind. This achieved the required reflection on the perspex and was quite straightforward. Achieving the correct angle of view with the camera to capture the reflection required a little experimentation but eventually produced an image which I am happy also demonstrates the objects form.

Form 2

Image 5 - Colour


Image 6 - Texture
The aim here is to accentuate the objects texture with directional lighting immediately above and at a very shallow angle.

Due to the fact that the object is curved it has been difficult to demonstrate the texture as well as I would have liked. Where the light strikes the top of the object the texture is less obvious. Also towards the bottom of the image the shadows are more pronounced, however reflecting any light back onto the object reduces the appearance of the texture. After a few further attempts I have been unable to find a better way to light the object to show its texture, however I feel this is more to do with the choice of subject then my understanding of lighting techniques.

Image 7
This image is one of the two to be taken in a lighting style of my choice. I have seen photographic images which attempt to emulate the style of lighting used in old masters paintings and thought it would be interesting to try my own version here. An example of the lighting/painting style I am referring to can be seen in Vincent Van Gogh - Still life with Bible.

Still Life with Bible, 1885 (oil on canvas) by Gogh, Vincent van (1853 - 1890)
Courtesy of Bridgeman Education Library 
My attempt at a similar style involved creating a high contrast scene with just a hint of detail in the dark shadows around the frame. 

Image 8
The final image in the series.


  1. Gorgeous photographs.....congratulations for them and for the assignment positive evaluation !!!!