Exercise 2.7 People in light

Take a series of photographs of the same person in different kinds of light. Do this over a few days or so – certainly on more than one occasion…. mount them in a grid.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg80

21st October 2019

Day 1

It is a really dark and dingy rainy day so going outside to photograph will have to wait for another today, therefore todays shooting will all be within the home. I haven’t anyone to photograph for this as my daughters declined saying this was a bit more intrusive, so I am using a paper-mache sculpture that I working on, it is unfinished but there are enough features and good shapes for it to work and also capture some shadows.

So that I did not forget anything this time I wrote notes so that I could tick off shots as I took them and note down anything else I thought of as it popped up.

  • window light (left)
  • window light (left) + daylight bulb (above)
  • window light (left) + direct flash
  • window light (left) + daylight bulb above + flash (direct)
  • kitchen window light (left)
  • kitchen window light (left) + kitchen light (tungsten above)
  • kitchen window (left) + flash (direct)
  • kitchen window (left) + kitchen light (tungsten above) + flash (direct)
  • window light (right) + green LED light (right)
  • window light (right) + green LED light (right) + camera phone torch light (left)
  • window light (right) + camera phone torch (left)
  • computer screen (left)
  • flash (direct)
  • computer screen (left) + camera phone torch (direct)
  • kitchen light (tungsten surround)
  • kitchen light (tungsten surround) + flash (direct)
  • street lighting (vapour light left)
  • street lighting (vapour light left) + flash (direct)

Day 2

Today is a bright day so I will repeat three of the shots using this light.

  • window light (left)
  • daylight
  • daylight and flash (direct)

There are many examples that I have not tried with this exercise, for example, candle light, car headlights and neon lights etc…

There are also variants, for instance shooting in front of a mirror or other reflective material to get secondary (reflected) light or colour, or as I have started to experiment with using multiple different light sources which means they will react with each other. this can especially be seen in the middle image where the computer screen and flashlight combined have given a green casting light.

This was a very interesting exercise, I just wish I had a human being to take photographs of as it was too embarrassing walking around with the head in the hat.


18th November 2019

As I was not able to use an actual person for the above exercise, I have decided if any chances arrive to bribe my daughters or catch people in situation with light, I will take extra shots and post them at the bottom of this exercise post.

I was lucky that while my daughter was raiding the cupboard tonight I managed to persuade her to let me take five shots in the kitchen. I managed a few although she is playing on her Switch so I combined kitchen light with handheld console light and a few console shots on their own.

I had my tripod on hand but I thought I would be pushing my luck if I asked if I could go and get my remote shutter cable as she would disappear o me like she usually does. Therefore some of my images may have a touch of blur from movement in them.

I varied the ISO and shutter speed according to the light meter but kept the aperture open at f4.5 for the full amount of life to enter.

The results are below:

Experimenting with kitchen light, Switch console light and both light sources together.

The aperture was kept at a constant f4.5 and the rest of the settings are as below:

  1. ISO 800 f4.5 SS1/15 (this is the last image in the grid, bottom right).
  2. ISO 6400 f4.5 SS1/10
  3. ISO 6400 f4.5 SS1/25
  4. ISO 3200 f4.5 SS1/6
  5. ISO 800 f4.5 SS1/3
  6. ISO 1600 f4.5 SS1/4
  7. ISO 12800 f4.5 SS1/15
  8. ISO 12800 f4.5 SS1/6

As you can see from the images there were many different light variables that could be obtained. The first shot was a straight forward shot of the main light above the subject with console light source. The following three shots were the Switches light source only, the intensity and colour changes with this source with the game on screen so sometimes you could be exposing for a particular reading and then the colour and/or the brightness of the screen could change so this was very interesting to note.

The second lot of images had the kitchen cupboard light on and the Switches light source. I asked my youngest to move so that the light source was on her side rather than behind her in the third of these shots which also helped with reducing the glare from her glasses.


03rd December 2019

I have taken extra photographs for this exercise, People in Light. The following contact sheets also have objects in different light sources which were taken at the same time. These are the un-manipulated images straight from the camera.

The following contact sheet shows the portrait images only from the above shoot.

People in Light – Portrait

For this exercise, I had to do various test shots as I used the B setting on my camera, with tripod and shutter release cable. The longer the aperture was open, the more light and blur of the portrait and effect in image 55 that I actually like the best as it looks as if my subject is moving in to blow out the candle.

Below is the contact sheet of adjusted portraits from this shoot. There are a few that have a couple of different variations which also include conversion to black and white.

Adjusted images

The types of adjustments used for these images were: Cropping, Dodge, Burn, Levels, Contrast, Brightness and Conversion to black and white.

My favourite shots are below:

I have learnt quite a lot from this shoot although that saying, ‘practice makes perfect,’ still applies to me. I still find that I have areas of bleached out light under the lamp in some of the shots yet in others that fault isn’t present. This has rattled me a bit because it was during the portrait shoot that I seemed to bleach the light source out under the lamp which caused books to be completely white. If you look at the images below which I took at various distances from the objects I have managed to obtain a good exposure with no bleaching of the surroundings to the light sources.

I have just been scrolling through the above images and there is one black and white one which keeps catching my eye because of some light highlights on a cupboard. They seem odd although natural. I therefore went back into Photoshop and made a third version of the shot and removed these highlights by using the burn tool. The two images are below for comparison.

I feel that the adjusted cupboard is more natural to the eye. I have also noticed by darkening the cupboard it pushes out the figure more due to the fact the subject and feathers are lighter as they are caught in the light of the lamp. This then causes a contrasting effect within the monochrome shades of the image as well as highlighting the different textures.

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