Back Lighting – Part 2

Specifics on soft-box set-up:

Lighting the space behind and around your subject requires a lot of care, patience and finesse.

Controlling the amount of light taken into the camera is another important concept to understand when trying to utilize the style of Back Lighting. We discussed controlling the amount of light your camera receives in “Camera Troubles” through “Part 6” and how it is based on the operation of the human eye, nervous system and brain.

Lighting for jewelry is a tricky occupation because of the many shiny surfaces we so enjoy not just of the metal but the gems too. Back Lighting jewelry uses the least direct lighting in my opinion. (I say in my opinion, because like any other profession you will find many an expert who: knows what others do not and used or has seen extremes which others have not. Yes, truly this is experience and opinion wrapped up into one statement.)

There are a couple of ways to back light a subject even in a “light-box”. The first way is to reflect the light off of the back drop. Another way is to light the object through the sheer fabric of the soft box back. I created a kind of soft box, only because I diffused the major lights in my set-up.

So my basic point is; there is no need to buy soft boxes if you are not focusing on staged macro photography. Have fun and improvise with the equipment you have or invest in basic equipment that you can re-use for other projects. Soft boxes are not designed to eliminate all shadows but do a very good job of softening them, especially since setting up proper lighting means more than one light source which the soft box technique so easily facilitates.

Step 1: Soften harsh lighting.

Rough Start…Smooth Finish

It take a lot of things in co-ordination to bring anything from “good” to “wonderful”.

Images that speak a thousand words, take quite an eye to create or a lot of study, research, patience, experience and knowledge. An artist makes each piece of art with a specific purpose, for an intended group of people, to make a specific statement.

For instance; a writer puts in order his thoughts so as to make a concise point, adding attention grabbing action, descriptive words (to cultivate the reader’s imagination) and a strong story line that answers the questions it creates as well as the anticipated questions of the reader.

A photographer is required to frame the subject of the work so as to draw it out and give it interest. Take a look at how other great artists use the extra space in their works by adding interest with supporting visual aid.

I love texture! I will use a macro lens so often that when I raise my camera to shoot a bird flying over head only to find that I have forgotten what type of lens I am using. Then I catch myself, “What am I thinking? I cannot shoot a bird flying high overhead with a 35mm!” The problem is, I was not thinking!

Notice the use of the rough brick texture to emphasize the soft flowers.

Texture is something that requires the sensory use of touch, a close-up view, hearing or all of the above to notice the differences in the surface. Macro lenses, in a word, are designed to focus at a closer range than wide-angle, tele-photo and tilt-shift lenses. Therefore the macro lens is the champion of lenses when you desire to explore the microscopic worlds within flowers and underneath rocks!

Photography is the artistic expression of how one person (the photographer) sees the world around them. Therefore my body of work displays my interests, unique/creative perspectives, capabilities and even what I believe. Perhaps “just getting by” is not enough to get me out of the “creative slump”, but learning something in the process will add to me as a person and artist.

Take a look at your work and consider “What element would you bring into an image that will raise its value?”