Sunday, March 9, 2008

Strobist: Lighting 102: Unit 1.1 - Position (Angle)

Well, I finally did it! I started the "Lighting102" online course from After much hesitation and lurking in the background as well as contemplating my naval on the subject, I finally made the jump from passive observer to active participant.

I sold the house and kidney as well as spent all my spare time busking in the street to finally gather the necessary pennies to put together a strobist kit as covered in Lighting101. My kit now consists of the following ingredients:
  • Canon 30D
  • 580EX II (x2)
  • 420EX (x1 - retired for the moment until I figure out how I can control it)
  • EF 50mm f1.4
  • EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 USM IS
  • EF 70-200mm F4 L USM IS
  • EF-S 17-55mm 2.8 USM IS
  • Strobe stand with umbrella bracket (x2)
  • Umbrella (x2) - These have both reflector and white shoot-through covers.
  • Pocket Wizards Plus II (x3)
  • Tripod
The Lighting102 course overview covers briefly the seven ways to control light that this course will focus on, which are:
  1. Varying the Position
  2. Varying the Apparent size of the Light Source
  3. Altering the Relative Intensity
  4. Restricting Light
  5. Refraction and Reflection
  6. Altering the Colour
  7. Time.
This promises to be an interesting course, and I am hoping that it will help take me to the next level in my photography journey.

The first "lesson" is about position. After reading the lesson I initially thought that this was rather simplistic and considered skipping the exercise, but after taking the images I realize how important it is for people like myself who have been used to having the flash on the camera (even if you have been bouncing it off of walls etc).

I was quite amazed at the difference in the resulting photo when moving the strobe into the various positions. This exercise also gave some insight into being able to reverse engineer photos to understand where the light is coming from.

I originally only did one set of photos (the 5ft set), but after seeing the results decided to also adjust the strobe to both a higher and lower angle to see the effects. I ended up with the strobe positioned at 2ft (60cm), 5 ft (150cm) and 8 ft (240cm) at each of the angles 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, 300° & 330°.

Strobe at 2ft (60cm) - these reminded of every horror movie I had ever seen

Lights at 5ft (150cm) - This gave me the most familiar feeing of lighting I had played with

Strobe at 8ft (240cm) - I', not sure why, but I liked this set the most

Although simple, this easy lesson has got me psyched on this course and I'm looking forward to learning more and ultimately being able to control the lighting in order to create the image I envision.

1 comment:

bishop said...

Thanks very much for the info and your painstaking effort to clarify some important issues that no one bothers to explain like distance and angle. Very much appreciated.

Looking forward to your other FREE tutorials. thanks again.