Even though I had done my own studio lighting to get to grips with with, we were set some class tasks to meet using the studio lights that we were given. We were given some examples to follow on how to use the light and the effects that they would give to the subject.
The first lesson task was extremely similar to what I had already done where we were told what lights to use in the particular direction they would be facing (such as soft box medium distance away from subject at a 45˚ angle.) However this was a useful session to be able to top up on my skills to make sure that every I had learnt was still there and hadn’t left at all!
The second lesson task we had to do was actually much more interesting for us to follow.In this task, we were given 4 images of famous paintings that has used light in various ways, and we had to re-create them in our own methods. Before this class we were told to bring in some glass and reflective items, so this made the task a bit easier and unique for us as we could alter it depending on our items.
For the first shot, my group was looking at the shadow created when placed in a particular direction in Barbara Fox’s picture. At first we decided to use one of the girls perfume bottles due to the shape of the bottle. However when it was placed on a plain surface, we realized that there was nothing interesting about it at all (with the picture we were imitating had a background that raised everything.)
So we decided to drape the back in a scarf that was able to provide a diversity of black and white tones which would highlight the shadow even more.However, everything seemed to blend in, with the object being lost. So we decided to use a turquoise glass that stood out from the background completely.
Straight away we could tell that this was much better, but now it was just finding the right angle to use for the picture, as the above seemed too flat. So by raising the tripod we had the camera on and moving it slightly to the right, we were able to get a nice dimension on the glass, as well as getting a nice shadow that seemed to go on forever that highlighted the background it was on as well.
In this picture, we were attempting to copy Raphaelle Pearl’s picture in which there was an orange peel on top of a box. In the original, the picture was quite bright towards the lower half, suggesting that the light was coming in from the left hand side.
For our own picture, we were more focused on producing a shadow coming in from the side to give some detail to the orange so we used a mixture of both hard and soft light. We originally had the orange unpeeled on it’s own, yet this wasn’t really interesting as it just seemed dull and added no context. So we decided to peel the orange in what was similar to the original. This provided much more detail as the light was able to bring out the colour segments of the orange against the dark scenery.
In these last picture, we were looking at James Pearl’s picture in which in the original there was a massive fruit basket that was combined together. For our own picture, we decided to gather all the items that we had brought with us and placed them into a similar position as the original.
Again though, we decided to use a much more darker image compared to a lighter one, as we wanted to bring out the detail of all the items rather than having too much shine on the items instead (although this may be due to that fruits are naturally reflective due to their surface anyway.)
Now instead of having the light face on (which would causes distinctive flares within the glass which would be distracting) we did it at an angle which would of caused the light to slowly fade away into a nice shadow.
The last studio task was a build on from the last task, in which again we were faced with a series of images that we were given, and that we had to repeat. This time, it was up to us to direct how we wanted to use the light and what equipment we would use in order to go about with these shots.
The first image we looked at was by Irving Penn who used natural window light in a studio. We tried to recreate this by bouncing light off of a white wall (flash head + reflector) and onto the model to diffuse the light.
We positioned Alex (me!) on a stool with the light on the left bouncing off a wall on the left of him, so that this would mean the light wouldn’t be as strong when it reached the subject, casting a very soft light onto the face.
This diffused the light well and made it look much more natural. We also used a black reflector on his right side to absorb some of the excess light that was bouncing back onto to his right side, filling in the shadows.
This image is really intense with high contrast. We wanted to recreate the strong shadows around the model’s features so we used a snoot. This created harsh light but also stopped any light falling onto the black backdrop behind.
The snoot was placed to the right of the model in order to direct all the light onto the model’s face; this created a hard light on the face bringing out the small details on the face.
The original image is very overexposed on the right side, this is something we didn’t try to do in our image, instead we concentrated on getting the surrounding darkness and the right shadows on Alex’s face.
The light on the left hand side of the face is similar to the Rembrandt style of painting, in which he would use to have a triangle of light underneath the eye. Although in this one it is larger than what is required, it is interesting to note for the image.
In this image we used a white reflector positioned to the right of the model at a 45 degrees angle, the reflector itself created a subtle shadow on the opposite side of the face/body. What we wanted to achieve was a for light on the image, as in professional shoots like this a soft like is used in order to make a person look much more youthful and “beautiful”
So we used a reflector in order to spread out the light as much as possible, but we had to put it an an angle (as the original was at a slight angle as well) so we had the light angled at around 60 degrees in order to cast a shadow on the image.
In our one though there is probably more shadow than needed, but for us this actually seems to work much better as the light has brought out the detail in the face.
In this image we wanted to recreate the shadows around the model’s face which we quite soft under the chin and very dark behind the ear.
We achieved this image by placing a soft box to the left on the model and a bit higher than her.
We needed it higher to create shadows underneath the model’s features.
In our image, i think we replicated the shadows well, the original image has used harsh lighting that created stark bold shadows and light across the body but we decided to use a softbox to create softer light which we thought was more feminine and attractive.
What was hard for us though was to get the shadow on the neck, as the model had to twist her back and neck at an angle in order for the light to fully hit the neck in order to get the light in a similar style; in our picture we had more shadow than the original but it does look nice though.
Overall I thought these lesson task were actually very interesting and fun to do, especially in our small working groups. This was because when given the pictures to re-attempt in our own eyes, it gave us a set objective to what we needed to do and achieve by the end. I would definitely do all of this again in a small group as it was much more effective.