My First Lightsource

My weakness is lighting. I knew it, know it, and now embrace it. Almost like a fear of fire or deep water, it is one of those fears a photographer must challenge head on. Jump into the fire so to speak. I recently enrolled into the online professional photography program with The Photography Institute and I realized I was going to have to face the music sooner or later. I chose sooner.

My first subject, much like some crazy scientist, was some dogs. Don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the making of this. A friend asked me to photograph some of her beloved Chow Chows and I was more than happy to use this opportunity to my advantage and get right into it. I went out and purchased a few cheap clamping work lights from a hardware store. Picked up a few compact fluorescents to mimic natural light and presto. Studio lighting.

Capturing my own animals is a bit of a challenge, let alone someone elses while you have a miniature studio set up. Here are a few examples of the dog portraits. Feel free to comment any images posted here.

dog,puppy,furry,fluffy

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After a week or so I attempted to take a few snapshots of one of my daughters. Luckily she loves the camera and is photogenic. I learned a thing or two in this session. I wanted to try this technique for a long time and this is what I managed.

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portrait

Another week passed and I wanted to try it again. This time using both my daughters as my ‘lab rats’. To me these were much better than the first two sessions…or attempts as it were.

light,portrait

The Girls

Finally I started to understand fractionally a little bit more than I did when I first ventured onto the path of enlightenment, pun totally intended. So I started to brainstorm softboxes and lightboxes to reduce the harshness of my light sources. My first assignment for the photography class needed to be submitted and I wanted to use my new-found lighting. My initial concept for the photo was going to be food, a colourful salad to be exact, and I knew that lighting was the key to photographing food. I managed to rig one of my decorative lamps to a lampshade lined with tinfoil and diffused the light by attaching a portion of white shower curtain to the lampshade. Voila a soft diffused light source.

This was the result of using my two clamping worklights, one on the right bouncing off the ceiling and one on the left being blasted at the image (shielded by more of the shower curtain), and my new softbox creation lighting the image from above.

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Needless to say I still have a long long way to go before grasping lighting. But the most important thing is that I recognize the need to master it. I will be doing a bit more simpleton construction and diffusing the rest of my light sources for future images. I just ordered two lightstands to help in that task.

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