DPP: Part 2 ? Digital Image Qualities: Assignment 2 ? Seeing like your camera: Part 2
November 10, 2013
Part two of this assignment involved looking at one of the four situations in part one and thinking about what lighting conditions should be to reduce the contrast of the scenes.
I’ve chosen the indoor single light source scenes, as these are the ones I have the most control over the contrast and can reshoot with ease.
Manchester in a Bag Reshoot
For the first image, of the wooden Manchester landmarks, introducing a second light source, or bouncing the light from the flash would reduce the harshness of the shadows which provide the contrast in that image. Here’s the result:
The shadows are much softer with no areas of particular darkness. When taking the shot I increased the height of the light and umbrella too, so the front surfaces of the wood weren’t being hit as directly by the light, so there image is altogether “flatter’ in terms of contrast. Here’s the histogram for the shot, which shows a tighter grouping of tones reflecting this reduction in contrast:
In this case I really took the steps to minimise contrast when making the image in the first place – putting the scarves in the lightbox meant they were very evenly lit and against a background of the same colour that was prominent within the scarves (white). Given that, I’ve gone the opposite direction with this shot – basically maximising contrast in the image. I could swap these within the assignment write-up, but I thought I should reflect that when making images my thinking on how it would turn out affected the decisions I made before I made the original. This image shows what it could have looked like without that attention at the start. I’ve shot with the flash undiffused and with a dark background:
The shadows are much harsher and there is clear contrast between the dark background and the brighter parts on the scarves. This histogram reflects the increased contrast – with a flatter middle but higher peak, particular in the dark tones, and a bigger gap between the bulk of dark and light tones: