The DVJ always has a theme to their outings, in this case the task was to produce either a book or record cover. My effort is below:
The objective of this exercise is to demonstrate some of the advantages of shooting when the sun is low. The aim is take a number of photographs to demonstrate the following:
- frontal lighting, with the sun directly behind the camera;
- side lighting, with the sun to the left or right;
- back lighting, shooting towards the light; and
- edge lighting, where the edge of the subject is lit.
I find that frontal lighting can make the subject appear very flat and two dimensional, as illustrated in the first of my images below:
|ISO 400, f/9.5, 1/250, Blue filter|
I had to step to one side in order to avoid my shadow appearing in the image, so it is not quite with the sun behind the camera.
An alternative shot which works better with this lighting is below.
|ISO 200, f/4, 1/1500, Orange filter|
Nevertheless, this is still somewhat two dimensional, when looking at the detail, much of the impact being due to my choice of f-stop which has a limited depth of field.
For the first of my images I selected much more of a landscape, rather than a detail shot.
|ISO 400, f/9.5, 1/350, Blue filter|
The Collonades which sit atop the catacombs and surround the 'Great Circle' in the cemetery are a dramatic feature.Here the side lighting, enhanced by the use of the blue filter, brings drama to the scene. The blue filter also enabled me to retain the brick detail in the highlights.
This led me to consider another use of side lighting, that of using the shadows and highlights themselves to create the design.
|ISO 400, f/19, 1/125, Blue filter|
Again in the Collonades, this time observing the pattern created by the low sun.
One use of side lighting, which I like particularly, is to bring out the surface detail of an object and this is illustrated below.
|ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1000, Orange filter|
Here the texture of the roughly hewn cross is enhanced by through side lighting.
Shooting towards the light, typically creates a silhouette where the shape of the object / subject is clearly seen. This I have demonstrated in the shot below:
|ISO 200, f/4, 1/4000, Yellow filter|
The following image is the only one in the set which is in colour, but this is to demonstrate another feature of back-lighting.
|ISO 200, f/4, 1/2000|
Here, I have used back-lighting to enable the glow of the yellow leaves, against the backdrop of the crosses, by having the light shining through them.
With the subject back-lit, the object here is to create a rim light effect around the subject. This is not the easiest lighting to show as lens flare becomes a problem.
|ISO 400, f/11, 1/90, Blue filter|
|ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/500, Blue filter|
Again, the cross is further removed from the background by the rim of light outlining its left side.
Use of low light proves extremely fruitful in providing drama as well as giving a greater degree of form and texture to the subject. This is certainly an aspect which I have enjoyed demonstrating.