Assignment # 8 Lighting
Due Oct. 27
The textbook has a chapter on Lighting. Please particularly read pages 145-150 in it to become familiar with various lighting situations and terms. We will not be working with flash in this class, though if you own one and have questions feel free to email me. We are working here with a one “continuous’ light set up (sunlight or a lamp) as a “main’ light, and also a “fill’ light, which will be a reflector of some sort.
For this assignment, I am interested in you using either natural (from nature) light, or existing light (can be natural or, say, regular household lighting), to make a portrait. I want you to pay attention to the quality of light and direction of the light. Ideally you might go outside on a Sunny day, and work in the sun and shadows. The video I am placing here shows a photographer adapting natural sunlight and shade to improve a portrait.
Full sunlight is harsh. If it hits your subject from the front or sides it will cause harsh shadows. Also you subject will likely squint. And easy way to improve a portrait outside is to step into an even shadow. Say from trees (avoid little spots of sunlight on your subject, though), or the shadow of a building. Watch how brignt (or not) your background is. High overcast days can also provide a nice natural lighting setup.
The video shows a photographer using various reflectors (white, gold, silver), to add softer light to a subject’s face. He is using a purchased photo reflector, but you can make your own with cardboard covered with glued on crinkled and straightened aluminum foil (for silver}, or a big piece of thick white foam core for white. If industrious, you could also make a big translucent piece to filter sunlight, as they did in the video, with some thin white material over a large photo frame.
I want you to think of improving the lighting on a subject’s face. Making the light softer and more attractive. Turn in two photos, one to show the “bad’ lighting you started with, and the second the “improved’ lighting your arrived at.
If you do this assignment indoors, you can use a window light as your “main’, and then add “fill’ with a reflector. Or you could use just a household lamp (with or without shade) as the “main’ light and again add a reflector on the shadow side to make the light better. Correct your color balance on the improved photo, particularly if using warm tungsten (light bulb) lighting.
Shoot pretty tight, head shot only. Pay attention to how close you get the reflector for the amount of fill you’d like to have. If you move the reflector in, you’ll have more fill, out means less.
If you have studio lighting, and know how to use it, you are welcome to do your assignment there. Stick to one light and a fill reflector, though.
Good luck, and I hope you see the light!
Navigate to Blackboard Unit 8 to submit your work.