• They say: by understanding the various ‘practices & processes’ of illustrators, designers, photographers one is able to progress and advance one’s own practice and through the ‘visual practice’ of observation, collecting, studying and exploring a subject, topic or theme, this will contribute to a deeper understanding of the subject.
So there I am, researching and learning about the natural lightning and lightning in the studio to gain that understanding of the subject. Because for the first time I was shooting in the studio! It is amazing there, but anyway I felt confused, there were too many things, too many unknown devices for the first time.. Despite that the shoot was really interesting and funny, I will post some pictures soon! However, that is why I decided to do some research in this area. A couple of weeks ago I brought home a book called “Lightning for portraiture photography” by Steve Bavister and it seems to be really helpful. The structure of the book is very simple, it is really easy to understand the content, theory, try to use that practically and understand actually how the lights were set up, what the artists have done to achieve particular style of an image. The book contains explanations of all the used equipment, terms for all things. Also you can find a brief about starting a career in photography, market of portraiture photography, styling advices and, of course, mostly explanations about the light. By the way it gives a short explanation of how you should act and communicate with clients and models, how to use all abilities and surroundings for the perfect background and foreground, of course. It shows an example of a world famous practitioner and than explains how the lights were set up, what equipment was used by describing it in words as well as including the actual scheme of the lightning set up and technologies used. Also the photographer himself explains his basic idea and how he managed to achieve the goal. The book is really simple and it emphasizes one thing – simplicity. Fancy, creative lightning does not always work and what the photographer should do – decide what he wants to achieve, consider the best way to reach the goal by choosing the most efficient equipment. In many of those examples ambient lightning or ambient mixed with a reflector or a single light (flash or a tungsten) seem to have worked the best.
There are some portraits that I really liked from this book.
Jeff Dunas(http://www.dunas.com), work from his exhibition “State of Blues”, shot with 140mm lense, 1/400sec at f/11 and the most incredible – he used only one electronic flash with umbrella.
Nigel Harper’s (http://www.nigelharper.com) personal project, picture called “Amelia with cat” using 10.5mm Nikon fisheye, 1/60sec at f/4 using only ambient light and reflector.
Joachim Baldauf (http://joachimbaldauf.tumblr.com), “Egg”, photography done for the “Amica” magazine using 105mm lense, 1/30sec at f/8, using only one electronic flash.
Pauline Neild (http://www.paulineneild.co.uk/), “Neon tubing”, press photography, no additional lightning, 28-105mm at f/4.