Why Light?

What difference does light make? Why can’t you just shoot everything in available light? Any of you who have attended one of my in-class workshops have no doubt heard my opinions on the importance of learning to light . You’ve also heard the emphasis placed on the importance of learning exposure and camera control before you move into trying to learn about lighting this way developing an understanding of how to control both.

Lots of people only think of learning about lighting when it comes to portraiture but lighting is important in every genre of photography.

I will get into a great deal more detail at some point on how to light especially portraiture but for now I thought I would share a few photos of the same subject in different colours and different amount and positions of light. Obviously all the same subject but each feels a little different. Each a different mood and a different area of detail. None of which have been particularly cleaned up.

All shot with a 50mm Macro on ISO 100 at 1/250th

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Ambient Light Only – @ F5.6

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F8 with a touch of flash from front lower left.

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F7.1 Light from left side

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Same as above with a little creative white balance.

The to change the mood a bit I intensified the light by moving it slightly closer and changing the position. I was intent on going black & white in post.

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Light was moved to a position a little higher and further to the back.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

The point of all this was only to emphasis to you how with one subject, one lens and pretty much one composition, you can create a variety of images with slight changes in light and colour.

Now let’s go back to colour and change subjects.

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/160th - Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

F9 @ 1/160th – Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

Go out and play with light. The more you play, the more you learn.

Up next. My trip to the San Diego Zoo in some rather shitty lighting conditions but I had to shoot. If I did not share what I shot people would start thinking I’m a photographer. (a not so inside joke)

Have a great week.

What’s Playing While I Write This? Talkin 2 Myself (feat. Kobe) by Eminem – Recovery

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Southern California Bearing a Camera and a Little Skin.

“Finally!” Is that your response?  Your response to my getting around to a blog entry that has a little more to do with the technical side of photography and a little less to do with everything else you have found here of late? Well I don’t blame you.

I won’t apologize though. Fact is, running a photography-related business tends to be more about running and less about photography every day and if I did not compliment it with various other revenue generating activities, affording to be a “photographer” would be, shall I say, unaffordable. At some point in the not-to-distant future I am going to go off at the fingers in a bit of a rant on that subject, the glories and the pitfalls of it, but for now, I’ve been to California, and while there, on three occasions, a camera ended up in my hands. Triggers were pulled.

Devona & I flew into San Diego in mid January only to experience some of the best winter weather they have ever had. Most of them, the residence of California, were a tad disturbed by drought and fires in some areas of the state. We, on the other hand, just happy to be able to shed some layers.

So shed we did, in the back yard of a place we now affectionately refer to a Casa Moretti. It’s sweet to have friends who live in houses, the amenities of which, list longer than most five-star hotels. The layers came off, the beverages were poured, the football game being aired on the 64″ outdoor television sitting above a fireplace in close proximity to the pool… what did I tell you?  Nice digs. Looks fairly peaceful.

Casa Moretti

Casa Moretti – This would be a quick scenic with a 70-200mm as I did not want to risk the delivery of a beverage due to my having gone hunting for a lens.

And then the tranquility was gone. Within a few minutes, the kids were in said pool showing off for Aunt Devona & Uncle Rob prompting Uncle Rob to dig out his camera for this… Goggles the Crime Fighter

Goggles the Crime Fighter

Goggles the Crime Fighter – Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – ISO200 – 70-200mm @ 165mm, 1/640th @ F3.2

Goggles the Poser

Goggles the Poser – - Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – ISO200 – 70-200mm @ 130mm, 1/250th @ F4

For the image above I dragged the shutter a tad slower than I normally would for an action shot at an attempt to show a little movement (blur) in the water behind the subject. The shorter focal length and increase in aperture value gave me a bit more depth of field rendering more detail in the background.

A little later in the evening we were introduced to crack… Not that kind of crack, not plumbers crack, but Cardiff Crack. Believe it or not, that is a particular cut of steak. One which rivals any cut of beef I’ve ever had. Trying to describe it without any education in the art of butchering meat would just be to fail so I’ll leave the describing to them: “Cardiff Crack is a delicious USDA Choice tri tip that is trimmed, marinated, and infused with a one-of-a-kind Burgundy Pepper marinade, which through a secret process, permeates the beef and results in tri tip that is incomparably flavorful and tender and highly addictive.” Find out more at cardiffcrack.com

If you are ever anywhere near the Cardiff Seaside Market 2087 San Elijo Ave. Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007, I would highly recommend you grab some, find a grill and some beers, sit back and enjoy. Oh yeah, the beer is for the grilling as good red meat is best served with good red wine.

Now I’m hungry. Thanks for reading. Feedback always welcome. Spam, not so much!

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