Experimenting With Light

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on January 26, 2015 in Photography |

Up until now I have always used natural light in my photography; no flash, no forced lighting, no reflectors. Every single photograph has been taken – with a firm and steady hand mainly! – using whatever was available, whether it was in a museum, a church or outside in the cold. Natural light is good, I feel, but learning how to take photographs, especially film photography, means that I need to learn considerably more. I need to be able to judge the strength of available light, or additional light, as well as zones, shadows and variations across an entire spectrum which, eventually, will make up the finished image.

There is also the fact that I wish to be able to sell – or license – my work so that other people can use it for their own web blog, for Internet sites, for printed medium. Limiting myself to certain images, following one set subject, is hardly going to create a good portfolio of images which could attract those willing to open their purse.

Book, Pipe, Glasses

Photo Source: Viktoria Michaelis

So yesterday, on the spur of the moment, I grabbed a few things from around the house, from friends and neighbors, and took a few (digital) photographs using the simplest of light sources: a normal lightbulb – in this case a 3W, 300K, 46mA, 230V 50Hz Livarno Lux, for those who love details.

Absolutely nothing special, no plan, no design, just a few odd shots to see what could be. In this case, the photograph you see above, I had a very old, yellowed book on a dark wood background. The light is reasonably warm in color, and the age of the book gives it this deeper taint. The pipe is probably out-of-place, being far too dark and casting a bad shadow in comparison to the rest of the image, but it is a start.

The good thing about a digital camera, once again, the chance to experiment without having to wait for the results and then, when something works, take advantage of it straightaway with a different camera – film – or, perhaps, take the digital images and use them too. If it doesn’t work the first time – and I will be honest, this image here is the fifth attempt from many – correct, shoot again. Transferring what is learned to a film camera is another matter entirely, but we’re getting there, slowly but surely.

Love & Kisses, Viki.


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