For Assignment Four I need to take 8 photographs of a single subject - I have chosen a clementine - which aim demonstrate four particular qualities of the subject: shape; form; texture and colour. Working through the course text and set exercises as well as reading through some of the course books in the reading list (see bibliography at the end of this entry), I have developed an understanding of how lighting is used to show these different qualities of a subject. In this assignment I aim to find or create lighting environments that allow me to demonstrate these elements.
Photographing shape in this instance aims to show the subject with no form, that is, with no representation of a 3rd dimension. The image is to appear 2-dimensional. Of course, almost all photography is 2-dimensional but some images have a depth that is inferred and understood by other elements within the image. My aim is to remove these elements leaving only an outline; a flat representation of the subject.
The form a subject has is a demonstration of its three dimensions. A subject with form is said to have mass, and volume (Prakel, 2012) although the image is 2-dimensional the tonal gradations achieved by certain types of lighting allow the viewer to mentally picture the subject as 3-dimensional.
The texture of a subject is not always visible if it isn’t lit in a certain way. Some textured surfaces, such as a ploughed field, need to be lit by a low raking light if it is to reveal texture – were it to be lit from directly overhead the texture would all but disappear (Prakel, 2013)
Other surfaces, notably the black leather bound book described in Light, Science and Magic (Hunter, Fuqua and Biver, 2012) require a different kind of lighting to reveal their texture.
When photographing a subject it can be very important that the colours are accurate. If the light is coloured for whatever reason it may affect how the subject appears. Getting the white balance right can be very important. Additionally, to accentuate colour it can help if the subject is slightly underexposed. Overexposing a subject can desaturate the colours.
Freeman, M. (2007). The Photographer's Eye. Lewes: Ilex.
Prakel, D. (2012). Composition. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Academia.
Prakel, D. (2013). Lighting. London: AVA Publishing.
Hunter, F., Fuqua, P. and Biver, S. (2012). Light, Science & Magic. 4th ed. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Inc.