Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creative Lighting

Mysterious Lights at Night

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
: 2008
Camera: Canon 40D, 70-200mm L f/4 lens
Settings: ISO 100, f/8 (or around there), 2-3 seconds, 85 mm (or around there)
Support: tripod
Other: extension tube for macro photography, wireless remote trigger

Details: for my first photography course there were a few assignments that were aimed at helping creativity, developing style, and having a consistent theme. This photograph was taken for that course. I had several in the series that were similar (and oddly different), which I employed different skills.

This is an excellent example of creative lighting that I think everyone should try. I created this using a small LED light on a key chain and a long exposure. The process involved taking several shots with different exposures, light movement, and angles to get an effect I liked. The subject can be anything. Really, anything! Cans, glass vase, toys, engine parts, office supplies, crystal balls, etc.

To take a photograph like this, here are the basic tips and equipment for you:
  • Tripod: to steady the camera as the exposures will be a few seconds long.
  • Keep it Dark: to ensure that no light reflects off anything you don't want it to. The room needs to be pretty dark, but as long as the exposure is just a few seconds then it does not have to be pitch black (so you can see what you are doing). I also put my objects on a black table and posted black cardboard on the wall behind it.
  • Remote Trigger: so you can work the light and the camera at the same time
  • Small Light: I used a small light and illuminated my subject from behind so that only some light came through. Take multiple shots moving the light around differently from various angles and intensities if you can.
  • Extension Tubes: these tubes allow you to get a closer macro shots than a normal lens will allow you to. They are cheap (like $30 on eBay), which is better than buying a specialize macro lens for $900.
Try experimenting with lots of objects, different types of lights, changing angles, and have fun. You will be amazed what you can make!

1 comment:

Lady in Waiting said...

been lurking for some time now, first time commenter.I'm not sure what you mean by extension tubes, can you post a link showing me an example? I am big into detail but can't afford a macro lens...