Part 4 : Light – Exercise 10 and 11 : Softening the light and the lighting angle

Part 4 Light

Project – Photographic Lighting

 Exercise 10 : Softening the Light

I’ve recently bought a set of reflectors, including a diffuser as well.  I can borrow my husband’s fabric soft-box as well (it’s a bit fiddly and liable to fall-off though!). For this exercise I just used the inbuilt camera flash and then a small diffuser fitted onto it.

(1)

Straight Flash. f/16 @0.3 ISO 100

(2)

Diffused Flash: f/16 @0.3 ISO 100

The Handbook states that the exposure settings will be different (p. 131) but they are the same. The RGB histograms are different though – straight flash gives R216, G58 and B94 whilst diffused gives R160, G0 and B36.

I can’t see much difference although the diffused flash version does give a softer image.

Exercise 11 – the Lighting Angle

I used a small alabaster statuette of Nefertiti for this exercise. Again I used the camera flash with diffuser fitted and went through all the different positions suggested. Here are some of the results:-

(1)

Flash in front. Good profile but it looks flat somehow.

(2)

From the side. The alabaster looks more translucent with more form to the head but there is light glare as well.

I then got very caught up in using reflectors  from various angles to see if I could bounce the light away and reduce the glare.

(3)

This was the best result, by which time I was also using a remotely operated flash unit and having help from my husband with holding the reflectors.:-

(4)

Flash raised 45 degrees at the side.  To me this starts to add a more mysterious atmosphere and the head also seems to stand out more from the background.

(5)

The above was taken from behind to one side at 45 degrees. It looks like the head of a foetus in the womb. Not a good angle for the statuette.

(6)

Behind, to one side, but not at an angle.  This view brings out more of the colour in the statuette.

(7)

The shape of the head is more dramatic shown from directly behind.

Conclusion

No. 4 was the best (flash raised 45 degrees at the side) at showing more form. No. 7 provides more drama to the image and shows shape. I prefer this one for this particular subject. In retrospect I don’t think that the statuette was a good subject to use with flash, even diffused.  I think use of natural daylight would be better as it would have a softer effect.

 

30th November 2011