Reflections – Surface

So you want reflections, but under instead of on your object?

Mirrors – Shoot into or on mirrors is an amazing technique which not only gives reflection but adds more light to the scene.

Plexiglass – Being reflective yet it is not as strong a reflector as the silvering coat of a mirror. So while providing a great reflection, it will not add light to the scene as would a mirror.

Besides plexiglass comes in various colors. Take a minute to search the options manufacturers offer in plexiglass color.

Plexiglass can also add a density to shadow and reflection unlike other translucent materials. It is one of the most versatile materials I know of within the uses of photography.

Glass – A great reflector as the mirror and not as direct in adding light to the scene as plexiglass, glass itself in a great surface for reflections. One drawback to using glass is that it is fragile. That is only a drawback if you intend that your pane of glass remain intact throughout your photo shoot. Some photographers will use reflections in broken glass which brings up a whole new realm of ideas.

Water – Perhaps one of the most powerful, difficult and predictable substances on the earth, is also one of the cheapest and most accessible substances to capture reflections.

Considering the weather and time of year when planning a photo session is a good idea, even if only to verify that your annual day of rain is not schedule in the same day.

Possibilities are only as limited as my imagination! I love the study of light! Have fun as you learn and grow!

A parting thought: “We only have this moment once to enjoy, so I choose to enjoy it with this foundation; faith, on which to build the structure of physics as I soar into the realm of freedom, liberty and true creativity!”

Portraits – Soft light

Softening light is a process in which light is made to evenly fill the viewing area. This can be done in many ways but often the simplest methods are the best. Soft-light is not only about adding light, it also involves making sure that the natural light in your shot is not too concentrated in one place.

Basics: When lighting a surface it is important to light the surface evenly to prevent overlapping coverage. Light is a key element to showing the rise and fall of a surface. So as you can imagine, if a person’s face has areas of their face better lit than others it can give them a very strange appearance.

Softening the light can be done basically two ways by either diffusing the light or reflecting it. Diffusing the light uses a direct light on the subject with a partly transparent piece of material between it and your subject. Lighting companies sell “soft boxes” which fit over the light making it easier to soften the light than holding a diffuser in-front of it for every shot.

Reflecting the light is indirectly lighting your subject by bouncing the light coming from your light source (sun, porch light, strobe, flash, etc) directly on your subject. Indirect or reflected light will not be as “harsh” as it would be from the light source but can still be too harsh if physically placed too close to your subject. So use distance (close or far) to your advantage here as well!

Listed below are some examples of diffusers and reflectors. Have fun and use your imagination! This is the stuff of artistic shooting!

Diffuser:

  • Umbrella (Great for artistic element in a shot too!)
  • Translucent fabric (not darkening fabric)
  • Plexiglas (colored Plexiglas)

Reflector:

  • Water
  • Disk (sold at any videography and photography lighting store)
  • Fill card (Light or dark-colored – darker colors absorbing more light)

Inspiration – Part 2

“…Sing, you islands of the sea; echo back, you ocean caves…”

I have been told that I have a fertile imagination. No, I do not care to explain why. This phrase though communicates to me a beautiful image of crystal blue water, fine sand beaches and islands with caves all around begging for adventurers to explore their expanses! Is this not the dream picture we all have of a perfect “Island get-away” that we secretly wish would come true?

There is something more to this phrase and I will give it to you in two parts.

Part 1: We have described the islands, caves and sea but completely ignored the action to which they are called. “Sing!” “SING!” Who does not enjoy a beautiful voice that dares you to go back to your worries and anxiety? If anyone said “I do not” out-loud, I can refer you to some fine Nouthetic counselors.

Part 2: The purpose of their call to singing. Remember in “History Immortalized” I challenged us all to intentional, proper and encouraging photography. These Islands of the sea and ocean caves are singing and echoing the praises to a merciful God who gave his only son (Jesus), conceived of His seed, to pay a debt for my wrong actions, immoral thoughts and offensive words. God did this not for me alone, but for you too. This was not forced on Jesus either, in fact Jesus (the same Jesus that the hymn says “Jesus Saves”) said of his life “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” (See: The gospel according to John chapter 10:18a)

The sea, oceans or any large body of water ought always to be treated with care and caution. Just because of the power it has by virtue of the laws of physics does not require us to stay away from it at all times, but rather calls us to exercise wisdom and good sense when enjoying the pleasure of water. I think this caps off what we desire in these grand fantasies including islands, seas and caves a well-defined boundary that can both protect us, but reminds us to mind well our strengths and look for help in our weakness.

Oh! By the way, Jesus did die, but he is the only man to come back to life never to die again. He was witnessed by over 500 people, talking with them, eating in front of them and some touched him. Get a copy of “The Gospel according to John” or find it in a Bible sometime, read it. It is true.

Light Has Color?

I can go into a lot of technical terminology and “geek speak” about light refraction contrasted to camera White Balance. However, I want to take this post and use it to discuss the magnificence of the creation around us and another role that light plays in it. Light is an incredible source of science, energy and to me is one of the most interesting subjects of study.

This post was started with the connection between light and color, so let us turn to the topic of the post.

Refracted light is a very specific process of splitting the light ray into exact color bands. While this process is highly scientific in how it is accomplished; it does not require expensive equipment or a high degree of education to verify and study as a curious lay person. Refracting light rays can be tested and demonstrated quite easily with a water hose, water supply and bright sunny day.

With the water hose connected to the water supply open the valve to pressurize the hose with water keeping it to a manageable level for an individual holding it and placing their thumb over the hose connector creating a fan of spraying water. (Appropriate attire for playing in the water maybe preferred as the child in all of us enjoys this simple pleasure.) As the individual with the water hose in-hand maintains the spraying water, turning slowly right or left; the sun will reflect off of the spraying mist and cast a rainbow in the spray.

The water droplets act as prisms, receiving the light and splitting it into the color bands I mentioned above. The light rays are split into 7 bands; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. It may help keeping the colors straight if you put it in this for “ROY G. BIV”.

So, are there colors in light? Most definitely! Before I sign off, updating the blog with this post, I would like to add the definition of “refraction”: “the change of direction of a ray of light, sound, heat, or the like, in passing obliquely from one medium into another in which its wave velocity is different.”

Happy studies!