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28.3 - Play with Light

1) Get a light such as this one.

Or, use your flash if you have one that's separate from your camera.

Purchase an extension cord for the flash, so you can use the flash off the camera.

2) Set up a still life.

3) Experiment

Place the light in different locations.

Place it near the camera, to one side, above the camera, and behind the still life (backlighting).

Photograph each change in lighting.

4) After each picture, step back, and take a picture of the entire scene—the light and the still life.

By doing so, you'll have "notes" about how each lighting setup was done.

5) Compare the photographs side-by-side.

For example, shadows will make your still life look more three-dimensional.

Summary

Direction

Effect

Because

From the side

Shows more texture and volume

The shadows cue the viewer to texture and volume.

From the camera

Flattens the subject

Without shadows, the viewer cannot see texture and volume as well.

From behind the subject

Makes the subject stand out from the background—more separation

Dark subject against a bright background and edge lighting on the subject