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Thread: A study on light and shadows.

  1. #1
    jiro's Avatar
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    A study on light and shadows.

    Main light used was window light at camera left 7:30PM horizontal orientation and about 10:00 vertical orientation, 5 feet away from the figurine. Fill light using a 60-watt REVEAL bulb on an ordinary table lamp housing at camera right, 4:00PM horizontal orientation and about 9:30 vertical orientation, 14 inches away from figurine.

    A study on light and shadows.

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    Nikon D70, 50mm, IS0 200, f/5 at 1/800 second.

  2. #2

    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Hi Jiro, your narratives are really technical which I could hardly understand, but for me the soft lights reflected on the figurine, which also made the pearls on the bride's gown shimmer just gave the subject justice.

    ps
    Can you be my photographer on my wedding day? hehehe

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Wow Willie, you make them look almost life-like. Great shot.

    Is there a reason for the lighter grey next to the male's left arm followed by the patch of dark grey and then a medium grey to the edge?

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    As said before the lighting is great.
    Doing photographs like this is indeed a great practice. Is it a practice for some portrait photography? I would love to see a likewise shot from a real couple on their wedding day.

    It reminds me of a documentary I saw about Robert Mapplethorpe. He studied lighting in flower studies to practice for his portrait studio work.

    For example
    A study on light and shadows.

    A study on light and shadows.

    His flower shots were distinct for the exploration of curves, shapes and tones (and the harmony between them). I really like how he used that same approach to photograph the human body. You can find quite some of that in his portfolio on the Robert Mapplethorpe foundation site .

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Quote Originally Posted by jupiterlush View Post
    Hi Jiro, your narratives are really technical which I could hardly understand, but for me the soft lights reflected on the figurine, which also made the pearls on the bride's gown shimmer just gave the subject justice.

    ps
    Can you be my photographer on my wedding day? hehehe
    Not really too technical, Annette. I only used a system of describing the location and orientation of the light source based on the clock method. The camera is initially positioned at 6:00PM horizontal and 9:00PM vertical, meaning the camera is directly in front of the subject and you are picturing a clock displayed on the floor. This would be your horizontal plane orientation. Now, picture a clock that is standing vertically and the 9:00PM side is directly pointing towards the camera. That is your vertical orientation.

    When I say "main light source at camera left at 7:30PM" that woud mean my light source is at the left side of the camera since 7:30PM is at the left side of 6PM. Not too hard, isn't it? Same thing with the vertical orientation. When I say "10:00 vertical" that would mean that the light source is tilted downward a little bit since 10:00 is a bit higher than 9:00. The reason for such approach is to remember how you set up your lighting so you can replicate it over and over again without much variation. Also, if somebody would want to learn from your lighting setup, they can follow your approach and imitate it.

    I'd be delighted to be your photographer on your wedding day. Just let me know when so I can go home soon if I needed to. Just let me borrow your camera body and an extra lens since I only have one camera with me.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Wow Willie, you make them look almost life-like. Great shot.

    Is there a reason for the lighter grey next to the male's left arm followed by the patch of dark grey and then a medium grey to the edge?
    Bobo, the lighting ratio from the window light to the fill light was a bit wide. As you would notice, the window light produced those deep shadows on the left hand of the bride (the shadow is very defined). What I did is to bring the fill closer to fill in the shadow areas in such a way that I can still see good detail in it. The gradation on the groom's left hand was caused by the light fall-off coming from the main light. I want the scene to be a little bit dark so I did not use the fill light that much.

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Quote Originally Posted by JK6065 View Post
    As said before the lighting is great.
    Doing photographs like this is indeed a great practice. Is it a practice for some portrait photography? I would love to see a likewise shot from a real couple on their wedding day.

    It reminds me of a documentary I saw about Robert Mapplethorpe. He studied lighting in flower studies to practice for his portrait studio work.

    His flower shots were distinct for the exploration of curves, shapes and tones (and the harmony between them). I really like how he used that same approach to photograph the human body. You can find quite some of that in his portfolio on the Robert Mapplethorpe foundation site .
    You are most right and very perceptive, Jeroen. Yes, I am using miniature figurines to force myself to be aware as to where the shadow on the nose of the bride falls on. I think in portraiture, it is the shadow of the nose the determines what type of lighting did you use whether it was rembrandt, semi-rembrandt, butterfly, short light, and other variations. Each has its own mood to inject on your subject. Since I don't have a willing model to shoot on hand, my small figurines would suffice for now. When the time comes that I can shoot real, live models, I won't be overwhelmed by the whole experience since I have practiced how to look at the shadows and where they are falling on my subjects. I didn't know that Robert Mapplethorpe started using this approach before. I merely used my common sense in learning about light since I can't buy the professional stuff and I don't have live models yet. Thanks for the link. I will surely study it with diligence.
    Last edited by jiro; 19th September 2011 at 10:13 PM.

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Thanks Willie, now I understand a bit more.

  9. #9

    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Thanks a lot Willie, that's very informative.

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Thanks Willie. Love the photo and thanks for the detailed explanation.

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    Re: A study on light and shadows.

    Nice pic, Jiro.
    You forgot to take a picture of your setup?
    As much as I know you, you would have taken it.

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