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TAOP: Assignment 4 – Light: Planning – Part One

I’m approaching the end of the exercises for this part of the module, but despite having some left to do I’ve already been thinking about a potential subject for this assignment.

The broad aim of the assignment is to draw together the different lighting techniques studied and apply them to a single object, bringing out particular physical properties of the same object.  It calls for around eight photographs, each in a different kind of lighting.  The core qualities to bring out, one at a time, are shape, form, texture and colour.

My initial thought was to use water as the subject.  For shape I might have put it in different vessels to show how it adapted to whatever contained it.  For texture I could have shown it as a solid, liquid and gas.  I could have also used a close-up shot of the surface tension on the surface of water in a glass.  For form I might have gone with the cliché shot of a splash of water, using reflections in the blobs of water to show it’s three-dimensional properties – kind of like these:

Splash

Light in a water droplet

For colour I figured a rainbow could have survey the purpose, or a spectrum of colour created by shining light through water, similar to what I’ve done with these bubbles.

Colours in bubbles

Another thought was to show water against different colours, showing how it is essentially colourless.

One concern, though, is that water isn’t technically an “object”, so I’m not 100 percent confident it will fulfil the assignment brief in a strong-enough manner – basically not allowing me to demonstrate what I’ve learnt as strongly as possible.

My next thought was to use a bottle of wine; I think my brain had gone from “liquid” to “liquid container” and wine often follows those kind of thoughts.  However, my main concern with this idea was that a full bottle is practically opaque, and an empty one not far off, and that would reduce my options.

This picture does a good job of demonstrating the need to control reflections with a wine bottle as a subject, so I can see at least one opportunity for experimentation:

Wine Bottle

What I’ve come to after the wine bottle idea is to use a beer bottle instead.  The liquid and the bottle are both paler, typically, so should give me more options to experiment with lighting.

For “shape”. I’m thinking a silhouette, close-up, at sunrise, sunset or twilight.  I’m also thinking I could do a shot of the bottle smashing, or already smashed.  If I do it smashed I’m half-considering trying to get the reflection of an intact bottle in some of the shards of broken glass.

For “form” I’m considering a top-down shot of the bottle, but with a long shadow to one side – a contrast between how small it looks from the top, versus the shadow demonstrating it’s height.  I also like the idea of the bottle lay down with beer pouring out (well “like” is a strong word, consider the potential waste of beer – perhaps I’ll go with the stage trick of using water coloured by tea), the liquid spilling out demonstrating the internal volume of the bottle.

I’ve not given a lot of thought to “texture” yet, but what comes immediately to mind is the hard edge of the metal bottle cap and then the smooth curve of the top of the bottle.

Then for “colour” I”m going to revisit the oil bottle picture I took for assignment two – lighting the bottle from below against and appropriate background to ensure the colour of the bottle stands out clearly and is reinforced through use of either contrasting or complementary colours.

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