Exercise 35 Softening The Light

In exercise 35 we need to take a still life with and without softening the light and to compare the results.

Fig. 1 Hard Still Life - 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

Fig. 1 Hard Still Life – 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

In fig. 1 there was a single speed light on 1/4 power at 45 degrees on the left. The edges are hard, contrast is naturally strong and there are deep shadows.

Fig. 2 Hard Still Life - 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100.

Fig. 2 Hard Still Life – 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100.

For fig. 2 I added two more lights. The main light is still at 45 degrees on 1/1 power, a fill light, in the form of a second speed light, is at 45 degrees right on 1/4 power and a third speed light on 1/2 power just back of 90 degrees. All the lights are above the set and pointing down at a slight angle. (see fig.3). the shadows have been significantly reduced by filling in the shadows with the 2nd and 3rd lights but the hard light still gives hard edges and high contrast.

Fig. 3 Set-up used for fig.2

Fig. 3 Set-up used for fig.2

Fig. 4 Soft Still Life - 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

Fig. 4 Soft Still Life – 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

Fig 4 had two lights, both speed lights. One at 45 degrees left with a large soft box and at full power and a second light just forward of 90 degrees on 1/8 power with a small soft box.

The shadows are softer and the old bakelite telephone has more variation of tone. The reduction in contrast appears to give greater texture and tonal variation between the pure white acrylic sheet and the paper in the note book.

Fig. 5 Red Still Life - 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

Fig. 5 Red Still Life – 1/60 at f/16, ISO 100

In the final image the light set-up is similar to that used in fig. 2 but with the addition of a honeycomb and a red gel on the back right light.

Overall shadows are darker with un-diffused (hard) light and  edges are softer with diffused light. Colours tend to be slightly warmer and pictures have a more natural, north light, feel when a diffuser is attached.

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