Assignment four feedback – Applying lighting techniques

What follows is my tutors feed back, my comments are in blue italics. I am really pleased with the feedback and the helpful hints for using smaller flash units and mirrors to increase the distance from the flash in a small space. Thank you.

Overall Comments

Another full and well photographed submission. I look forward to seeing it in detal.

Feedback on exercises
Your submission looks full and well illustrated as usual. Your exercises are extensive and I can see that you have put a lot of time and effort into them. They are all illustrated with images which are, in my opinion, good enough to be used in a publication on the subjects and topics covered. In short: they are very professional.

Feedback on assignment: Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

The first image is a black and white silhouette of your chosen subject – a Lily. On closer inspection I can see on an enlarged view that the shot is in fact, colour. The strong backlighting has created a very subtle, almost monochrome image with very slight hints of the original colour. This is your choice for ‘Shape’. I think you have created a really nice shape against the white background here. The flowing forms of the leaves, and the bulbous heads of the unopened flowers create a wonderful shape. As you say yourself, you have described the shape of the Lily perfectly. This shot is a really strong start to the Assignment. I would suggest you try this as a high contrast black and white image sometime, it would work very well.

Yes I agree and have re-processed in the image below :


The second image has the flower from an almost identical viewpoint, showing it in full colour against a black background, giving a totally different look. Your use of black card has improved the shot immeasurably, and the result is a very professional image. The text suggests that it was lit by one flash, and I’m sure that is true, but it also has some fill-in too.

Form – the third image shows a more contrasty image, with strong colours. This is lit very well and has accentuated the grooves in the leaves and the unopened flower. The next picture is a closer in shot of one of the buds. The lighting is as before: strong, and the colour is vibrant against the black background. By getting in closer on this one, you have been able to create a shot with more emphasis on composition. The arrangement of the shapes in this shot is really strong and the extra effort in this has created a much better picture than a pure record shot.

In ‘Texture’ you have gone for a close up section of the bud, creating a colourful image with a strong diagonal. I don’t know what the technical details were for this shot, but there is a very shallow area in focus. I know that depth of field is reduced in close up shots, and you were relying on small flashguns with limited output, but you may wish to attempt a sharper version.

The way to do this is to fire the flashguns a number of times whilst having the shutter open (in a totally dark room). Doubling the flash firings gives one extra stop of light, doubling that again gives another stop and so on:
1 flash – original exposure
2 flashes – one stop more light
4 flashes – two stops extra light
8 flashes – three stops extra light.

The second texture shot is a perfect match for the first, it occupies the exact same area as the first shot and displays complimentary colours. The exposure and detail is excellent, and the flatter form of the leaf has created less of a problem with the depth of field.

Colour – how to best to show an objects colour.
The flower is represented in the same position as the beginning shot, and has now been lit by diffused front/top lighting. This is a much better shot for showing the colour, than the shot in the smaller thumbnail. The diffuse light has meant that more of the flower is lit, without reflected highlights or deep shadows and this gives a larger area of colour. The image is clear and professional and could almost be a very detailed botanical illustration from Victorian times.
Your final two paragraphs are your conclusion and within them you state the process and the difficulties you encountered.

To answer your question about the contrast difference between highlight and shadow areas, due to the closeness of the flashgun: If you point your flashgun in exactly the opposite direction – towards a mirror, you can increase your distance. This should give you less of an exposure problem from one side of the flower to the other.

Another excellent submission, there’s not much more I can say.


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