Exercise: Softening the light

In this exercise I have photographed this decorative clog twice under the same light - a halogen capsule - but the second photograph has a diffuser between the lamp and the subject. I took care to remove all other lighting in the room to ensure the effect was maximised.

With the bare lamp lighting the clog, there are quite harsh shadows being cast. The image is quite high contrast; the highlights and shadows are hard.

With the diffuser in place the shadows are significantly reduced and are much softer. The highlights however, do still seem quite hard.

It's actually quite fascinating to see thedifference between the two images simply by using a diffuser to turn the small hard light into a large soft light. In this instance I do think I prefer the second image. For this subject the shadows are too hard in the first image.