Monday, April 8, 2013

Photography Is Light!

I've mentioned before that I joined a photography group and I am really enjoying all the things I'm learning. One of the main things that has been so wonderfully illustrated to me is that "photography is light." I will admit I considered light as I went about taking pictures, but the group has demonstrated to me what an amazingly powerful thing it is and how it can be used to make good pictures better. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

The group recently attended a light studio to learn how to create your own light sources for things like light boxes, overhead lighting, and even how to use everyday items to make light work for you.

I was really taken with the light circle above because it accomplishes so much and yet there is a subtle simplicity to it. The instructor explained that he simply bought plywood, cut it into a circle, and then attached light sockets to create the perfect lighting for portraits. It made all the difference as we watched his model move closer and then further away from the light, and watched how her features softened at a certain distance. 

This was my first chance to work with a model and the other thing that really struck me is that the camera really does add pounds. I say that because this particular model was the thinnest person I had ever seen, and yet looks almost a normal size in the picture. 

I won't give away all their tricks but there were a few I know you will appreciate. First, was the mixing bowl converted into a light reflector. Here are two of the same type only one has been painted and the other left clear. All that was required was to cut out a portion of the back and put in a small pizza dish to reflect the light back into the converted reflector. Neat idea huh?

Next, a simple method to create a light box. A similar process applies of cutting out a portion in the back to insert your light and have it amplified in the foil covered inside to shine on your subject. Again, simple and yet elegant to inexpensively work with light.For those who want to spend their money on a good camera but don't have the finances to cover all the other expensive items it can be a life saver!

And finally, if you don't want to wrestle with filters, you can set the tone with lights and something as simple as a Japanese lantern. For this scene you almost expect to see a Jazz singer lounging on the couch, the mood has been set so perfectly.

I really enjoyed the event and learned a great deal that I will incorporate into both my photography and the short film I am putting the finishing touches on (yes, what works for photography is pretty much the same in film). Lights, camera... action!

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