Exercise 4.4

I’m doing this in stages really. I’ve not taken images like this before, so it feels like learning from the beginning. Please scroll down the page – I’m being honest here and putting my first attempts first and showing all the poor images too!

Set 1. A ball of twiggy stuff

 

The left is natural light, the right is artificial light. I set the camera on a tripod for these, and the natural light wasn’t removed, I just added an artificial light source to the right of the subject and I didn’t change the white balance on the camera. I found the exposure difficult to get right. I don’t have a light meter, and the camera wanted to overexpose turning the black background grey so I used the exposure compensation dial to reduce exposure by nearly 2 stops.

Set 2. An egg

I put the camera on a tripod and I used either one or two lights and a large reflector.

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lights right and left, but again there is no texture, it is overexposed and there is a shadow on the bottom

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Light on the right and a reflector on the left but still overexposed

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I was experimenting with even lighting as well, but I couldn’t get rid of the shadow at the bottom 

I changed the set up, reduced the exposure and handheld the camera which meant increasing the ISO but I think it’s worked better for me.

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This is lit from the left with one light and I’m pleased there is more texture in the surface

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The shadow at the front has appeared again – I just couldn’t seem to work out how to get rid of that

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Lit from above. I think this was my favourite way to light the egg. It looks like a planet in space.

Set 3. An experiment with ingredients for my dinner

I am really going to have to learn how to control the complexities of light and colour. I had a real problem trying to get the lighting right for a white garlic bulb and a dark aubergine. I think the black background probably didn’t help; perhaps I’d have had more success using a white one as it would have introduced more light.

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This is using two lights, one on full power and one on half power. 

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I can see the lights in the onion skins and the garlic kept being overexposed

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I tried underexposing but this is obviously gone too far

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Trying to take a photo of a dark object against a dark background. It looks underexposed, but if I increased the exposure then the background went grey. I tried experimenting with the white balance. 

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Change of white balance. It hasn’t helped. 

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Basil plant. I quite like this. It’s lit from above and I’m not used to seeing that intensity of green against a black background 

Set 4. Planet Apple

These are all lit from above. In general I think they’re the most successful so far, although the colours got slightly washed out. I’m not correcting images I put online for exercises unless I say otherwise, so they’re as is apart from the first image. I need to remove some of the marks that are showing up in the background too.

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I boosted the colour of this in Lightroom

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Lit from above and shot from above. I think this is my favourite