Saturday, March 29, 2008

Strobist: Lighting 102: Specular Background Assignment

Strobist: Lighting 102: Specular Background Assignment

This was a second assignment from the online course Lighting102 from strobist.com which put into practice some of the things I have learned so far, namely:
  1. Changing the position of the flash - angle
  2. Changing the position of the flash - position
  3. Changing the apparent light size
  4. Specular Highlights
Unlike the first assignment, this was painful. As much as I tried I never quite felt that I captured the Specular Background that this assignment was all about.

I think I had two main issues:
  1. The initial background I chose was not reflective enough, and
  2. The whole "getting the right angles" thing was not as easy as I thought.
The first image was taken of me against the non-reflective background I mentioned in point 1 above. It was taken with a shoot through umbrella pretty much head on, which I tussled with due to the proximity of the camera to the umbrella (as noted in the lesson). No matter if I stood close of far from the background the image still looked dead.

The second image of my wife and youngest daughter was also taken with a shoot through umbrella pretty much head on (slight to camera right) . I liked the specular highlight better in this image, although the shadow to the left seemed to ruin the picture somewhat.

This was a close up shot which I finally accepted as the best I could do for the moment. I'm still not happy with the left hand shadow behind my wifes head as her dark hair is lost in the shadow, which I was trying to light up with the specular highlight.
Any help on how to get the whole head surrounded by the specular highlight would be most welcome :-)

If I get any improvements on these shots I'll post them here. With more practice and help I should be able to do this :-)

Please feel free to leave comments or questions about this article and I will endeavor to answer them as soon as possible.

Previous lessons from Lighting102:

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