Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dean Collins "One Light"

Light....... What is light, and how is it used in photography? Good questions. I will not write that I am the best at this, or any other photography aspect, but I do follow the rules of lighting as best I can.

This entry was done to help promote, and to help show, how easy and incredibly intelligent the The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins techniques are to use, and the results they can give.

What can we do to alter our light source for the sake of better images? How can we use the different types of "altered light" to better show an objects texture, an objects depth, or even to convey an emotion? Well, I feel that this is great stuff, here, that I am asking, so lets see if I can "shed some light" on these great questions.

Our light source, in this blog entry anyway, will be coming from just one source. The source will be the Sun. The light from the sun hits our eyes (or lens) after it bounces off of objects that we wish to photograph. The "quality" of this light can change in many ways. Sun light can be "hard or soft". I will be altering this light source for sake of this entry, but first lets see what "hard or soft" sunlight, or "altered light", the Sun supplies us with.

At high noon the shadows that the direct Sun casts seem to be bold, dark, and with a crisp line between the lit areas and the dark areas, which they termed little "fall off". At sun-rise and at sun-set the light appears softer and it seems to "wrap around" the objects that we wish to photograph. Their is now a gradual "falling off" between the light and shadow areas. This "falling off" of light between the light and dark areas is caused by a diffusion of the light source. The use of diffusion is going to be one of the main tools for the showing of texture, shape, and emotion. Light placement is also an important tool when it comes to texture, shape, and emotion, but lets focus on the falling off of light.

The golf ball in this image was photographed in the harsh sunlight, at close to high noon. Notice the hard shadow quality. Their is little fall off between the light areas and the shadow areas. This shows the texture of the golf balls' "divots" very well, but the ratio between the lit and the dark, overall, is too high for my taste. The ball is very bright, and also very dark. If I was after a shot that intended to show a contrast-like texture of an older, scratched and pitted golf ball, this method for lighting would be desirable. Let's alter the light by slipping in a single diffuser.

Same time of day, but notice the softness of the texture of the golf ball. This is due to the single light source (the sun) being diffused. The light now seems to wrap itself around the ball, giving it depth. The fall off between the lit areas and the dark areas is more gradual. The light/dark ratio has been lowered too. This gives the image a more soft-like feel. This is a great lighting to show a nice new golf ball.

Next, just to show for some more texture and depth, I placed a small bounce card reflector in the diffused light, Just like I learned in Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins, in front and underneath the golf ball. This was done to light the underside of the ball, but just a little bit. I felt that it had way too much shadow for the image.

So, I think that I have altered light to show for depth, detail, and emotion. The emotion part is that you now want to purchase this ball. It is desirable because of its' soft texture and gloss finish, and it seems to be three dimensional in a two dimensional image. You can almost feel the ball, and know how it will improve your game. Well, that is the idea anyway.

I hope that this will be helpful, and inspire you to check out the Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins! Subscribe to "All Things About Photography" today!
See ya next time!!!

S. "Kern" R.

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