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TAOP: Part 4 – Light: Photographic Lighting – Project Introduction

This project looks at what can be done with photographic lighting.  Below I’ve noted some key points from the project introduction:

  • Built-in flashes are extremely limited – a lighting supplement that does;t provide much in terms of interesting effects.  With more effort, and some more equipment, a whole world of possibilities opens up.
  • Portable flash units limit ease-of-use as, until it fires, you can’t see what the effect will be, so the project encourages the use of mains-power lights (which I bought a pair of back in December – in a fit of retail-therapy).  Few portable flash units provide the facility to attach reflectors or other fittings.
  • Lights are hardly-ever used naked – lighting control invokes putting things in front of the light.

Light Intensity

  • Daylight outdoors has the same intensity at any one time wherever you stand as the sun is so far away.
  • Artificial lighting will be less intense over distance, following the Inverse Square Law – light falls of inversely with the square of the distance.  This means if an object is moved twice the distance from the light, it will receive four-times less light.

Diffusing Light

  • Most lights will give bright highlights, hard shadows and throw their light indiscriminately over the scene, so the most basic and useful change to be made is to diffuse it.
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