Intro to Light
Ok, I am really embarrassed to show these photos, but I think it’s important to show where I began (it gets better after these crappy photos). This particular class was on 9/8/10 (we spent most of the summer working on Lightroom and Photoshop) and it was called Intro to Light, our first studio lighting class. I had never personally used studio packs, mono lights, or hot lights prior to this class, this was my very first time. Yes, I had used speedlite plenty of times before, but never lights this powerful. Fortunately, our school uses Profoto Acute2 1200 studio packs, these are significantly more expensive and better quality than lights I would have access to if I wasn’t a student there (we also have Profoto 500ws monolights, I’ve used those quite a bit as well).
So for this particular class we needed to bring something in to photograph, it could have been anything. So, being the idiot that I am, I thought I would bring in a shiny glass growler and try to light that in my very first studio lighting class. What an idiot! It went terribly, but the point of the class wasn’t to create an advertisement for the Vermont Pub and Brewery, it was simply to see how the light acts in a controlled studio environment with a subject. I ended up doing very well in this class, but here are the crappy photos I started out with…
I used a grid on this one, clearly it helped… [SARCASM]
Since I hated what I brought in, Mike let me borrow his old shoe. In this particular case, I was happy to photograph an old shoe. Weird, I know. I’m still trying to figure out why I put these things on black foam core. Seriously. Grid on this one too.
FORTUNATELY, our teacher for this class (Paul Dube) has been working with studio lighting for a very long time and was able to teach us the basics very quickly. The next class we had after the atrocious one above we started outside, actually, and used diffusers/scrims and reflectors to make the sunlight work for us, which was also quite eye opening.
Here is an image of Gia with just diffusion to soften the sunlight falling on her.
Here is an image of Aimee with both diffusion and a gold reflector bouncing light into her face. Unfortunately there is a little bit of a funny shadow from her nose going up her cheek, but other than that I’m very happy with what I was able to do with harsh sunlight, a diffuser and a reflector.
After we finished shooting outside, we used Arri hot lights in the studio to try and imitate the sun. We repeated what we learned outside with using diffusers and reflectors to help mold the light as we wanted. I really learned a lot about light, more specifically about directional and soft light, and have seen light differently ever since. This is up there with one of the most influentially classes I have taken at CDIA.
And here is the final part of this class, the “bag shot”. This is our first big project in the program, the idea is to tell a story and use studio light creatively for, essentially, the first time. The kicker was we had to shoot this in the studio, my idea was making a salad and I wanted the surface to look like a chopping block, I had to bring in a wooden table top to shoot on! This was a lot of fun, Steve and I worked together and I took a lot of photos, but the very last one ended up being the best. There was diffusion, fill cards and a reflector that were used for this small shot, it was insane. This was also my first time learning about Angle of Incidence = Angel of Reflection, I was getting a significant reflection off the knife and it was very distracting, in addition to being blown out. We put a little bit of, what I consider, silly putty under the knife to tilt it just slightly and it worked perfectly, I’m very happy with how this photo came out!
So, that was my Intro to Light class and as I said before, this may have been one of the most influential classes I have taken at CDIA. I loved it!