Monday, 15 October 2012

Assignment 4 - Applying lighting techniques - initial thoughts

The fourth assignment requires that the lighting techniques that have been developed through the exercises are brought together and applied to a single easily moveable object to demonstrate a specific and well defined range of physical properties.  This is the difficult bit .. there are lots of potentially suitable objects, many of which fulfil the criteria set for this assignment.  My tutor suggested that a possible candidate could be a loaf of bread, and also that I should contact him with my ideas when they were formed (assuming they form of course …).  The idea is to take eight photographs based on the four themes of the assignment which were shape, form, texture and colour. 

Shape is associated with outline of the object and needs to define its edges, making them stand out against the background through appropriate contrast; there also needs to be minimal detail showing in the object.  The images I took of the Beethoven bust which I lit from above but with the light set to the rear of the object come to mind as a demonstration of this, although I won’t be selecting that as the final object for assignment as it lacks colour.  I also need to show Form or volume of an object and show I am able to light it to make it look as 3D as possible.  Texture is all about the quality of the surface detail and would require small, hard shadows that I have seen from un-diffused light sources lighting objects from the side.  Finally, I need to show Colour as strongly as possible, and I have learned so far that even, diffused, soft light should achieve this if coupled with the right exposure; in earlier exercises it was possible to get a rich colour by underexposure rather than trying to achieve this in post-production.
The OCA assignment brief in the course notes also points out that I could photograph the object in “any other interesting, unusual or attractive lighting”.  An artist whose work has appealed to me for some time is Catherine Balet who has produced images using lighting from modern technology such as laptop screens, mobile phones and computer game screens and I have been considering having an attempt at this anyway, so it could be useful for an assignment shot as long as it demonstrates colour or one of the other characteristics I need to show.

I need to produce two photographs of each aspect and currently plan to try and take one inside with artificial light and one outside with natural light for each feature.  However, as the year progresses, and the clocks will change very soon, the outdoor options will recede as weekdays are not be possible for me and weekends are difficult, especially if I keep going on OCA study days, as don’t plan to start carrying a loaf of bread, a pineapple or a coloured pot around with me to London or Brighton ….. !!

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