Photographs need light and light takes many forms – the way in which light strikes a surface, the nature of its source and how it is modified before reaching the subject all influence its appearance. For this exercise I chose the form of my Glamorous Assistant and used the somewhat unorthodox light provided by a hand-held fluorescent tube. The idea was to produce a diffuse source and have it very close to the subject to let it ‘wrap around’ the form. This made pressing the shutter awkward as I ended up being some distance from the camera, so I set the shutter to a 2 second delay whilst I assumed the desired lighting position. It also meant that I couldn’t see through the viewfinder, though I was able to get a good idea via the LCD screen. This is what happened:
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The camera position remained static but I moved the light around from the right, round to the left. I added a piece of cardboard to the far edge of the light fitting to flag off the background and make it dark I’ve converted these to monochrome because I found the skin tones distracted from the tonal effect.
Although the effect of moving the light position is very noticeable I didn’t really get on with the method. The light was soft but polarised (in the sense of directional); it was meant to emulate a striplight softbox but the ‘strip’ aspect was too narrow
Christian Coigny – Men & Women. Retrieved Apr. 25, 2017, from Web site: http://www.christiancoigny.com/artwork-portfolio/43-men-women/image/#524
I am influenced by Christian Coigny, as well as Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Gregory Heisler for their use of light in portraiture. It looks very simple and natural but I have a feeling that much of their work is carefully built up layer by layer. Notwithstanding this I find the results pleasing. I notice how the background is illuminated to produce a ‘rhythm’ of light and dark across the image – where the model has a dark edge, the backround is light and vice versa. This accentuation of edges helps to give depth cues to the eye/brain where they do not occur in a 2d photograph. Here’s a lighting diagram for my shots as above:
To summarise, it produced an informative result but it doesn’t really work as a lighting resource. I quite like the idea of BIG window light and we have double floor-to-ceiling glass doors in our current accommodation so I hope to experiment a bit with that quite soon.