Thursday, August 30, 2012

Project The Time of Day : Exercise Variety with a Low Sun

All of the shots below were taken in one evening while the sun was approaching the horizon and sunset. The weather has been so mixed over the summer it took me a while to find a pleasant evening wtht enough sun to get these shots.


DSC_0299 : Front Lighting
The wooden cat statue is beautifully lit up by the sun giving the wood a lovely warm hue. The shadow is quite hard and long, but I really like the effect.

DSC_0300 : Side Lighting
I can see how this would work nicely with portraits or a subject with more detail to pick out on one side. Still a nice colour to the wood as a result of the low sun.

DSC_0301 : Back Lighting
I love this silhouette effect produced by back lighting. You can still make out some detail on the wooden cat, but its a lovely way to show the shape of the subject. The warm sun colours on the pavement add to the effect.

DSC_0302 : Edge Lighting
I think I have the idea of this right. I spent a while looking for images online to get an idea of the effect to go for. The lens flare is a little annoying, but it was hard getting the positioning right here.

Project The Time of Day : Exercise Cloudy Weather and Rain

Part One - Cloudy Versus Sunny Conditions

DSC_0303 : Cloudy

 DSC_0304 : Sunny
 DSC_0305 : Sunny
 DSC_0306 : Cloudy

The different between the first set of shots is the shadows on the face. As the cloud covers the sun, his face becomes partially hidden by shadows. The houses in the second set really show the difference in colour between sunny and cloudy conditions. The cloudy shot definitely looks more blue/grey in comparison to the sunny one. I think for photographing things like rock formations with lots of nooks and crannies, being photographed under cloudy conditions might work better to bring out all of the shadows and details.

Part Two - Overcast Conditions
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I think the detail of these subjects works nicely being shot on an overcast day. The light from the sun isn't casting distracting shadows that blue the details. The pink highlights on the rose also come out nicely under these conditions.

Part Three - Rain

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Sadly no rainbows were spotted this day. It was a short shower but had been overcast all day. I have taken better pictures with rain, in particular some while I was in Slovenia in May. It poured with rain one morning when I was visiting Lake Bled which made this beautiful rolling mist come down from the surrounding hills making lovely patterns over the forests. I've also taken some shots of a model during light rain that give some great reflections. I think I love shooting just after heavy rain so I'm not worried about my camera, but get the effect of the lights in the water, the mist in the air and the crispness of the sky. I definitely don't stop just because of a little rain!

Project The Time of Day : Exercise Light Through the Day

For this exercise I completed the pictures over two days. The first day I took photos from 12:30pm until sunset at 8:30pm every hour with an extra photo at 8pm. The second day I took photos from 30mins before sunrise starting at 5:30am until 11:30am. My landscape was Colley Hill in Surrey near Reigate. It's part of the North Downs which leads across to Box Hill which is a favourite spot of mine. 

This was the first time I had been here. I did some research online after a friend recommended it to me as fitting the brief of the exercise. The structure which is the Inglis memorial was donated to the Borough by Lieutenant Colonel Inglis in 1909. It was originally a drinking fountain for horses and during my second trip was frequented by cows who took shade there for a couple of hours giving me something to pet between shots. 

I experimented taking shots from a variety of different angles and think that the two series below are the best set ups to show the changing light throughout the day. I went into this exercise thinking I would enjoy the lighting the most around the later part of the day coming up to sunset. I like long shadows and I imagined that the light would be less harsh than during the middle of the day. There were a few nice surprises though.

 DSC_0263 - DSC_0280 were taken looking towards the East and back towards the memorial. Here I like the play of light and the colour best in 0268 which was taken at 9:30am. A close second favourite is 0278 taken at 7:30pm. Again here the memorial is partially hidden in shows and partly illuminated by the low sun.


DSC_0281 - DSC_0298 were taken from behind the memorial facing towards the West. In hindsight looking back through the photographs, I prefer this set to the first one. It picks up more of the movement of light throughout the day. My favourite picture here is 0285 taken at 8:30am where the pillars make really interesting shadows on the ground. Part of the memorial is lit up on the right hand side and the sun is shining on the path in an attractive way. I also really like the long shadows in 0296 taken at 7:30pm. There is a little flare on the top right corner of the memorial which works quite nicely too.

I didn't expect to enjoy shooting in the morning so much. The light seemed more golden than during the sunset and seemed to retain the golden quality for longer early on. It really emphasises that the shadows will always fall to the opposite side of the light and that with some practise they can make for a really interesting subject.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Experimenting with Light

I took this shot yesterday morning of one of my cats (Eris). She was watching a fly buzz around the window which meant the light was striking her really beautifully. She kept moving so I had to be fast. I had my 105mm Macro lens on my camera already fortunately so I set a shutter speed of 1/250, f7.1 and ISO 100 and took a couple of shots.

I'm always amazed at the detail the macro lens brings out and have started using it at events for close up performance shots. It brings out her eye, whiskers and ear hair detail very sharply. I converted it to black and white in Lightroom to really bring out the shape of the light around her profile.

Overall I'm really pleased with the results and very glad I caught this fleeting image. If I could have posed her I would have loved the light to pick up her nose a little more to round out the profile, but I think I'm nit picking a little here. The conversion to black and white really shows the play of the light and makes see any other distracting background colours don't interfere with the impact. If only she could be used for my assignment, but cats don't exactly do as you ask sadly.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Project The Colour of Light : Judging Colour Temperature 2

A series of three set ups with three pictures as part of each. The first with daylight white balance, the second shade white balance and the third auto white balance. 

DSC_0254 : Full sunlight, daylight WB

DSC_0255 : Full sunlight, shade WB

DSC_0256 : Full sunlight, auto WB

Auto and daylight WB are similar colour wise in this set. The shade WB makes the colour a lot more orange than it is naturally. I think I like the daylight WB the best, but with the auto WB a very close second.

DSC_0257 : Shade, daylight WB

DSC_0258 : Shade, shade WB

DSC_0259 : Shade, auto WB

The first and second shots are very grey/blue in colour. The middle shot at shade WB is the only one that keeps the natural colouring of the wooden mask. It is my favourite of this series of three pictures.

DSC_0260 : Low sun, daylight WB

DSC_0261 : Low sun, shade WB

DSC_0262 : Low sun, auto WB

The colouring is more orange in the middle shade WB photo. The intensity of the colour is slightly brighter in the daylight shot compared with the auto WB picture and is slightly my favourite. 

Such a difference something as simple as changing the white balance makes! I have been experimenting in my non course photography and using white balance creatively to give my photos different effects. It's the good thing about shooting in RAW. I can leave the camera set to auto WB and play with it in Lightroom afterwards to see the different effects on my pictures and choose which one appeals to me the most during post processing.

Project The Colour of Light : Exercise Judging Colour Temperature 1

The white balance was set to daylight for the following three shots. The first was taken in full sunlight in the middle of the day, the second in the shade in the middle of the day and the third in sunlight with the sun close to the horizon. 

 DSC_0251

 DSC_0252

DSC_0253

The colours of the wooden cat are so different depending on the light and sunlight. It looks so warm and inviting in the final shot with the first one the most true to it's actual colouring. In the middle picture the cat looks more grey and washed out colour wise when compared with the sunlight shot. There is also less visible detail as well as the change in colour. 

Project The Intensity of Light : Exercise Higher and Lower Sensitivity

All of the photos below were taken in one day at Surrey Street Market in Croydon. The day was warm but the light kept changing with the clouds moving across the sun and then clearing again. The first six shots were all taken at ISO 100 and the second set of six at ISO 400. 

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DSC_0250

The higher ISO have a greater noise and grain when enlarged, but sometimes it's necessary to capture a shot that wouldn't be possible in a low ISO. This might be a fast moving subject in low light or a concert where you can't use flash and need to up the ISO to be able to use faster shutter speeds. For modelling or product photography I can definitely see why grain and noise would be an issue. If the shot is going to be used in any kind of advertising likewise. However sometimes it is more important to capture the shot than to worry about any background noise.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Project The Intensity of Light : Exercise Measuring Exposure

The four shots below were all taken at +1 exposure compensation. In all of them I wanted to bring the white out without blowing the exposure. I also wanted to try and keep the details in all four pictures. All pictures were taken while I was away on holiday (the top three were taken in Slovenia and the fourth was taken in Croatia).

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Below are the pictures for the second part of the exercise. I took five sets of pictures at different exposures of different types of subjects. In each the exposure I thought would be best is first with going to a smaller aperture for the next two shots and then wider for the last two shots.
DSC_0214 : f7.1 1/640s
DSC_0215 : f8 1/640s
DSC_0216 : f9 1/640s
DSC_0217 : f6.3 1/640s
DSC_0218 : f5.6 1/640s

This one was difficult as I wanted to exposure for the castle as well as the sky. The dark castle was really difficult to show without having the sky go over exposed white. At f7 it's not too bad and I don't think it works in the other shots as well, but I'm not especially happy with any to be honest. This is something I will need to work on.


DSC_0219 : f7.1 1/1000s
DSC_0220 : f8 1/1000s
DSC_0221 : f9 1/1000s
DSC_0222 : f6.3 1/1000s
DSC_0223 : f5.6 1/1000s

A set of shots taken in Dubrovnick, Croatia. This one came out better in the latter two shots at f6.3 and f5.6.



DSC_0224 : f7.1 1/320s
DSC_0225 : f8 1/320s
DSC_0226 : f9 1/320s
DSC_0227 : f6.3 1/320s
DSC_0228 : f5.6 1/320s

This is an island in Croatia and I wanted to try and get the exposure right so you could see the detail on the island without losing the detail in the sky. Any of the first three shots work quite nicely, but the sky is a little too washed out for my tastes in the latter two at f6.3 and f5.6.


DSC_0229 : f4.5 1/320s
DSC_0230 : f5 1/320s
DSC_0231 : f5.6 1/320s
DSC_0232 : f4 1/320s
DSC_0233 : f3.5 1/320s

In hindsight it looks like f4 or f3.5 are better than my initial selection of f4.5. The top three are just a little too dark for my liking on later examination. 



DSC_0234 : f2.4 1/60s
DSC_0235 : f2 1/60s
DSC_0236 : f1.7 1/60s
DSC_0237 : f2.8 1/60s
DSC_0238 : f.3 1/60s

For this set I like the first three exposures and think any would work. The darker ones not so much though. The low f numbers really show the colour of the bottle and the detail of the water inside it. 

The up shot of it is that I am still learning to choose the correct exposure without using bracketing and having to take a number of test shots first. Hopefully the more I practise the easier this will come and the better my shots will look. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Working on Module Four : Light

It's been a little while since I've updated my logbook. I have been working away on the exercises for the light module but have been a little slowed down by being extra busy and the weather not behaving for the most part when I have gaps in my schedule. I now have just half of the Light Throughout the Day exercise (I am splitting it into two days work so need to go back and take photos from sunrise to 11:30am) left to complete plus the main assignment although I have some ideas in mind for it.

In the meantime as I start to write the exercises up below is a shot I took at a local studio. A makeup artist put UV reactive makeup on some new models and I had a chance to shoot them under UV light. It fits in nicely with the current work I am doing for this module so thought I would include a couple here. I played around with where the models were placed in relation to the back light while working to keep it hidden from sight. These are my favourite three.