Assignment 4: Light – Planning

For this fourth and penultimate assignment in the Art of Photography course I am to look at lighting techniques and more specifically how a photographer can enhance certain aspects of a single object by the choices in lighting they use. I am to choose one object and by using different techniques I should show the shape, form, texture, and colour. From the beginning of my planning for this assignment I have considered a number of subjects from a commercial product photography scenario, traditional still life or perhaps something more abstract like the Irving Penn frozen vegetables images. It was then in my feedback for assignment three that my tutor mentioned to think more outside the box,

“Many students find it complex technically and so may forget a creative response. Choose your subject carefully – perhaps select something unexpected rather than the usual ornament, but do focus on the lighting aspect.”

It was with these comments that I considered in-depth more what the subject matter could be, not just how unexpected it could be but also its effectiveness when it came to lighting it. I therefore considered a number of options, from photographing a car with studio lighting on location to a more manageable tabletop subjects like a chess board with pieces arranged and also glassware half filled with water. It was only due to the lack of a generator and reliable weather that I choose not to do the location shoot of the car but will be looking at it again in the more summer months. I also felt that the choice of glassware would, as it says in the course notes, not give me a varied amount of choice with the four elements we are looking at. It was then I considered the use of a child’s trike, used by my mother and auntie as children, my brother and I and more my younger cousins, so for a period of over 40 years it has been used again and again which I felt would be visible in its texture, the form and shape of the subject would represent its traditional design and structure while the colour of the original paintwork contrasting between the red, blue and silver would work well in standing out when being lit.

Some lighting work I have done in the past, which was aimed at a more commercial product photography scenario hopefully shows my early attempts and aptitude, as it was more focused on product photography the elements that we are looking at in the assignment are all required within a single image, to advertise and to show off the item as perfectly as possible.

I hope to build upon these images, show a more varied and controlled lighting techniques and to produce a selection of images that perfectly show the elements of lighting techniques required.

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