In all of the images below the frames are filled with artificial light, the light sources are all from different types of bulbs and all have different light temperatures generated by them. In the tunnel image the actual colours shifted in a different sequence with different colours appearing stronger and darker (the blue) compared to others, the actual lights themselves also turned off in a sequence. Not only do you need to factor in the correct white balance you also need to adjust exposures to compensate for the different colours.
With the red neon kitchen sign the colours are very vibrant, compare this to the colours from within the cafe itself which are very orange and warm.
Another factor to take into account is light pollution in city environments, other sources of light tend to reflect off cloud cover and longer exposures can result in an orange tinge to the sky as shown in the second image.
The quality of light is very directional, not normally from the arc of east to west where the sun arcs and therefore the shadows are cast differently and can be unexpected. The quality of the light can be better than daylight depending on the source but is less powerful leading to higher ISO or longer exposures. Multiple light sources create challenges of their own with different bulbs emitting different colour temperatures, this is also dependant upon their age, a room should look consistent but different bulbs quite often produce a mixed colour temperature.
These images were created on 14th May 2017, they are taken from the balcony of my flat on the 5th floor to explain the high perspective. My first image was at 08:03 and the last at 19:51. The canal is orientated approximately north to south, this perspective is facing south towards the river Thames. The sun rises from the left of frame.
14/05/17 08:03 At this time of the morning in the summer months sunrise is very early, you can see from the crane at the left of frame shadows are cast across the new building. The sun has yet to reach the towpath and its still in dark shadow.
14/05/17 10:40 Mid-morning and the sun has just started to creep into the shadows along the towpath
14/05/17 13:19 An overcast image as the sun is hidden behind cloud, there are not any shadows and the image has a flat feel to it because of this.
14/05/17 14:55 With the sun just past directly overhead shadows are removed and the light is very harsh. In this frame the sun has passed behind a cloud which has minimised the shadows but not completely.
14/05/17 17:18 The sun has started to set at this time of the day. There is more cloud as it has been raining, there are no shadows and the light through the clouds is very soft.
14/05/17 17:43 The sun is beginning to set a large highlight through the clouds in the top right of the frame throws the rest of the scene onto shadow as the camera compensates for the bright light.
Exercise 4.4 initial setup
Background work and setup for assignment 4 – fruit still life
Assignment 4 notes & brief
My background notes are attached as PDF pages to this post. My intention was to undertake exercise 4.4 and then expand this into Assignment 4. Instead, I got to the end of this exercise and decided I wanted to produce something else for the assignment.
My Lighting set up and light settings are in the setup notes. I kept the background and overhead lighting constant and then moved around the key light to create shadows and form of the subjects (fruit/vegetables). The key light was moved around the subject and also elevated, by moving around this created/reduced shadows of the subject depending on the angle of the light relative to the subject, i.e. lower light angle casts longer shadows higher angle shortens the shadows. By controlling the angle you can replicate natural lighting conditions according to the time of day. The shadow and catchlights on the object identify where the key light was positioned. each different position of the key light shows a different surface texture on each object and goes to show how 1 light differently positioned can produce such a different effect and
My subjects are all natural objects and I chose fruit/vegetables of the same colour but as they are natural objects they all have different colour values for each object and even in the object itself. Of all the objects photographed
Final Image Set
Assignment 4 contact sheet final
Reflection on Exercise
Each different position of the key light represents a different surface texture on each object and shows how 1 light differently positioned can produce such a different effect and tell a different story of the same scene. I particularly like the tomatoes and peppers, the smooth surfaces produce a nice catchlight on the surface but the peppers have a long undulating surface that adds contrast to the object.
The errors in the image such as the crinkled background and water splash ion the paper can be fixed in post-production, I have for the purpose of this exercise left them in as a reminder to fix in the frame at the time.
I’ve strayed from the brief of the exercise here and decided to look at a particular subject that interests me rather than an ordinary object found in the household or landscape.
I have a very keen interest in aircraft, in particular, those from World War 2. I undertook a basic search in Google for ‘Mustang’. I expected a result for a horse, car and aircraft.
Google search created 19th November 2017
Instead all the images were of the car so I refined the search to Mustang P51 as I’m looking for the aircraft.
Google search created 19th November 2017
These are all very much Air to Air (A2A) images and very much interesting to me as an enthusiast at the moment I’m not able to create images such as these. I did attempt an A2A with my subject aircraft but due to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) licensing issues this did not happen this flying season, hopefully next (fingers crossed).
Despite this I wanted to create some different images with different lighting, angles and elements of this beautiful shiny aircraft. I attended 2 events over the summer with my chosen subject aircraft a P51 Mustang owned by Peter Teichmann which is based at Hanger 11 in North Weald. I created images that were different to those in the test search above, they differ as all are static images but include a different perspective. I feel they capture the different elements of the aircraft not normally represented, the contact sheet is here Exercise 4.5 contact sheet.
From this exercise I wanted to expand by looking at aircraft over the early evening and night, not only does this present a different lighting element to the ones shown above it also presents different and changing conditions that require longer exposures to create images with spinning propellor discs and if possible engine exhausts spitting flames as the engines are started or pushed to maximum throttle.
This final image was created in the early evening on 2nd May 2017, the intent was to create a sunset image of the aircraft, however, there was cloud cover that blocked out the sun. the night ended with a lovely balanced blue hour and this is when this image was created. Unfortunately, the engine run that would give the spinning propellor disc on a longer exposure didn’t occur until after the sun had finally set.
For this exercise, I’ve chosen natural window light at around 1pm in the afternoon and approximately 2 feet from the window. To ensure consistemt results for all images the camera was set to 100 ISO, daylight white balance and with 0 exposure compensation.
The selected subjects are a piece of white printer paper, a grey piece of packing card which arrived with some photographic prints(I’ve referred to as grey card) and the outside of a black box used for storing printing paper. All surfaces are matte.
Part 1 – Program mode
Here the camera is clearly trying to maintain a neutral exposure, the histogram curve remains around the middle of the histogram and seems to follow the same shape. The images created are not what you would expect from the subject used, they are all grey and not the white, or black they should be.
Program mode Histogram for white paper
Image of white paper using Program mode
Grey card Program mode histogram
Grey card program mode image
Part 2 -Manual mode
Here all of the images are representative of the actual subject matter. The white paper histogram is very nearly overexposed but not quite as the histogram does not clip the right hand side. The grey card is slightly underexposed and the black is again very near to the left of the histogram but is not underexposed.
The camera in program mode is attempting to take the images and maintain a mid range exposure regardless of the subject, it is not ‘seeing’ the subject for what it is nut evaluating the light returning from the subject and calculating what exposure is suitable to produce a mid range exposure. The manual images created show the subject for what it should be and what you would expect it to look like. The 2 grey card images produce similar results
This exercise clearly shows that program mode may be useful for standard tonal images but when presented with extremes of either light (snow, wedding dresses) or dark tones in the frame the camera’s calculations shift the image to what it thinks it should look like. For scenes where you have these extremes as a photographer, you need to recognise this and compensate for what the camera is thinking or move to manual mode and expose appropriately for yourself.