During my project I had researched a range of different techniques including tips, advice and information given in lectures, In this post I will be explaining how I applied my research to my shoots;
Inverse square law –
During our first weeks of our project we were given information on the inverse square law and how it is applied in photography, I learned how the distance between the camera and the subject changes the fstop.
So if a subject is moved a distance of 2 meters we square this giving us 4, thus 1/4 of power if the original f stop was a f22 then a quarter would be f11 however if the subject is moved 3 meters away, squared would be 9 so 1/9th of power would then be f2.
Using flash –
I applied the inverse square law during my first test shoot, we took several photographs of our fellow class mates using different apertures depending on distance as well as testing the power of the flash guns adjusting the power to suit the environment we had taken the images.
We were handed a guide on using the Bowens flash units, this explained where the dials were and how to apply them when adjusting the settings.
I found that applying these techniques enabled me to test the camera professionally to suit the available lighting, by knowing what stops to adjust the aperture and how much power to increase or decrease the flash I was able to determine the correct settings to get the right amount of light to take the photograph. It took me a few attempts to get he right settings but had managed to use what I had learned to figure out how to adjust the settings accordingly, I then found it much easier and faster to get the the right setting for the scene.
I found that when using flash I would need to adjust the Aperture acordingly, the wider the aperture the less flash was needed, at 1/16th of flash power and f5.6 moving images would be frozen, meaning less blur but with more flash at full power and a smaller aperture of f22 this image would have motion blur.
Bouncing Light – [litebook – the creative lighting magazine pages 22, 34-39]
I looked into add variety in my images when using flash, I had found an article on using correct light sources to create either harder of softer lighting, when using a smaller light source the light would be harsher however by enlarging this light source it would effectively make the light softer as it spreads over the subject, This I experimented with when taking my low light shoots, I found that moving the light closer I was able to create a hard light to detail my subjects, this then enabled me to capture images that had hard shadows to create a profile on the subject, by moving the light further away I lit the scene with a softer light that expanded although this didn’t give the effect I was after so by using a smaller light I could create the harsh lines I was after.
Using reflectors in my shoots then brought back some of the light, I first tried this but when using a white reflector it created a glow on the opposite side of my subject, this gave the image a series of different shades almost like a banding in my shots, I replaced the reflectors with a black material that I used to keep one side of my subject dark, this gave me the correct lighting to just one side keeping all reflections and excess light from spilling onto the other side of my subjects, thus creating the highlighted effects in my low light shoots.
Bowens Flash & Lighting – [Bowens Flash – Light is everything magazine pages 4, 26 -27]
I had picked up a book from the camera exchange shop that contained information on the Bowens lighting equipment, this showed what equipment can be used to create portrait style shots, using the Gemini mono lights and Luminar soft boxes, It even included small diagrams showing the positions of the equipment used. I found these diagrams helpful, although I cannot afford the Bowens kits at the moment it gave me ideas as to where to place my own lighting, by using these diagrams I could place my lights in the same positions and create a similar lighting on my subjects.
The Bowens equipment used to create the low light photography I have been shooting were; softlight & keylight reflector, these create both a soft shadowing and add a depth of field, using a double diffuser capon the soft light beauty dish.
In the back of the magazine I was able to find a link to watch some tutorials online, I found a tutorial on lighting a subject using both hard and soft lighting using the Bowens equipment, by changing the light sources you can see how the photographer can pick put spectral highlights and detailing of the model, these tips came in handy when applying the lighting techniques to my shots to create the detailing using light sources.
The tutorial also includes diagrams of the lights used at the end so I can try these techniques my self to my shoots.