Lighting – Part 3

Lights are not easy to work, however not impossible. Directly lighting an object without first being reflected or diffused should be carefully handled. We will get into the reason for this point in a moment but let us first remember what transpired bringing us to this point.

In the time this blog has been in operation, we have discussed contrast, highlights, shadows, elements, focus, scene design and light source positioning in preparation for this new level of photography design. Direct lighting will be harsh and bright; so what else around the object should be lit to make sense of the scene?

What elements are important to the message of your photo? Remembering to keep it simple and thus unifying the message, light the desired elements enough for the purpose. If this photo involves a model, be sensitive to their comfort. Natural poses may be comfortable for a short period but if continued may become an irritation.

Irritation can be something the model will have to fight through for proper facial expression, motion stability to prevent blurring with moderate to slow shutter speeds. None of these issues are worth battling when they are avoidable.

Take a look at some advertisement photos and notice how little they add to the photo. At the same time, notice how they add, what they add, why they add and where they add those extra elements. This is not to learn the style or technique of another photographer, but to learn a principle, “Too much spice can ruin the soup” and not enough means it is a good start though undesirable.

Light can change the focal point of shot by misdirection, improper power setting and poor timing with the camera shutter. Be sure to know your equipment. Acquaintanceship means nothing when you are entertaining a customer and simultaneously troubleshooting your lighting system. You are the expert of your equipment. Learn it well.

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┬áhis 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?”

Work…is better when knit with fun.

I recently used my graphics tablet for some personal work and had so much fun with it that I decided to devote space to the tablet on my desk. After 20 minutes of sorting and cleaning this is what has become of my work laden desk!

I have so enjoyed the expression the tablet allows by bringing art back to the basic pencil and paper form. It is technology in top form!

“Christmas being the time we stop and remember the gift from God to humanity in the form of a newborn, vulnerable, dependent child, I pray God change our hearts to be more patient, kind, telling our loved ones how grateful we are for them! Life is a precious gift, take some time and enjoy the love of your family. Merry Christmas!”