STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY – DIGITAL
NOTE: You need to complete studio lighting theory assignment before you do this
Using what you have learned from “The Step-by-Step Guide to Photography” about lighting and portrait photography, use the ‘studio’ in the classroom (or another location) to create portraits with controlled lighting.
Use your time wisely, as others will also want to use the space.
ASK ABOUT LIGHTS, REFLECTORS AND OTHER LIGHTING EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO USE.
At least 20 IMAGES, consisting of: (2x5x2)
2 LIGHTING SETUPS – both have to be diagrammed. – there is an Illustrator template available
5 POSES or COMPOSITIONS (For each set-up)
Take 2 Photos of each pose: Full Face, Profile, 3/4 face, Upper Body, Humour
Compositions: re-arrange objects to get different shadows
ALL Thumbnails placed on InDesign page, PLUS your best image for each set-up made larger.
PHOTO 3: MAKE SURE TO USE AT LEAST 3 LIGHTS IN YOUR SETUPS!
1. Set up lights and sketch a diagram for the lighting setup you are using.
2. Take at least 2 shots of each pose/composition with the first lighting setup.
3. Change the lighting setup and re-shoot all poses/compositions.
5. Use the Illustrator template to create an image of both your lighting set-ups
6. Create an InDesign File that shows your photos and setups. One setup per page, Make your best image larger.
Good images, variety of poses, different lighting results, good diagrams
Reflect on your photos; Answer these Questions and add them to your InDesign page.
- What were you trying to do with the studio lights on the shots you think are most successful
- Which of the 5 required poses was the hardest to light and shoot (and why)
Most lighting equipment is very expensive. You can, however, manipulate light without spending a lot of money on professional lighting packs. The most important thing to use if you are directing natural light, is a reflector. A reflector is used to bounce incoming available light onto the subject. For instance, if a person is standing in a dark room with a window to the right of them, the left side of their face will get next to no light. To remedy this, place a reflector, facing the window, left of the subject’s face. You can use white Bristol board or foam core for a soft light, or a board covered in aluminum foil for a harsher glare. Using a mirror as a reflector is very effective in balancing the light, though the glare is much harsher. The reflector you use should be quite large (about the size of a Bristol board) so as to adequately light the subject. Experiment with other materials for different effects.
Some photographers don’t like using a camera flash because it tends to wash out a person’s face, resulting in a pale, shadowless, unsculpted image. To try and counter this, bounce the flash off a white ceiling, wall, or reflector so that the light is not coming directly from the flash unit, and is not aimed at the subject head-on. This will make the light softer and eliminate red-eye. Remember when using a flash that the shutter speed must be in synch with the duration of the flash or else only part of the image will be exposed. For many 35mm cameras, the setting is 1/60 second, others work at 1/125. Before shooting, check the camera manual or look on the shutter speed dial and adjust according. The correct speed will usually be highlighted.
In-Camera Light Meters
Light meter readings can be performed in a number of cameras by pushing down slightly on the shutter. This will cause two red lights to appear on the side of the frame – one representing shutter speed, the other, aperture. The aim is to have the two dots meet. This can be achieved by adjusting the aperture or shutter speed or both. If you are photographing a person in front of a window, get up close to the subject and take your settings there, with the lens aimed at the face. Otherwise, the camera will expose for the window and the person will appear too dark.
If you are using lights on tripods, there are some neat techniques you can try. One is to focus the light by wrapping a cone of black cardboard around the bowl. Check the paper continually to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Try bouncing the light off a board. Put gels or sheets of plastic in front of the light to change the effect. A blue gel will appear like sunlight on black and white film. Certain fabrics can also help diffuse light. Be aware that the material you are using is not over-heating so that fires do not occur.