152mc Working with Light: Studio Workshop Task 2 – Group workshop

For the second part of our studio workshop we were tasked with recreating the light for two images. Using our own observations and drawing from what we have learned we needed to make two still life images using similar objects to the original and as accurately as possible match the lighting.

The first image was an undated image by Barbara Fox.

Barbara Fox (Undated)
Barbara Fox (Undated)

We felt there was only one light source coming in from the top left but there was some sort of object or objects that are off camera and these are casting the shadows.

initial shot
initial shot

We used a perfume bottle as the object and used the lighting covers from the studio lights to create the shadows. We started with one object but it needed two to make both shadows. The above attempt was reasonably accurate but we wanted to go one stage further.

Our final version
Our final version

We experimented with flash and continuous lighting and found that the flash was over exposed in some areas and was to dark in others. We also chose to lay the bottle flat to round off the shadow it cast and place it on a reddish cloth. Although it is not exact we felt this was a very close approximation and we had succeeded in re-creating the light.

Lighting Diagram for the bottle still life
Lighting Diagram for the bottle still life
Raphaelle Peal 1817
Raphaelle 1817

The second image was by Raphaelle from 1817.

First Attempt
First Attempt

We borrowed a book and purchased some oranges from the local shop as we felt this would be better for a realistic recreation. We had to carefully peel the orange and it took some careful balancing to get the Orange to sit where we wanted it. Although we felt this was a two light set up we started with one and measured the exposure for the Orange. We placed the light at around 45°to the left of the photographer and we were quite happy but the light on the back ground was incorrect.

Final recreation
Final recreation

We initially introduced a 2nd light for the back ground but this proved overpowering and it lit the whole backdrop. We decided to take a different route and placed a black kicker behind the scene and went back to using just the single light. This time the light lit both the Orange and the back drop, we then used another book to cast a shadow over half the backdrop. This time we went with flash although we used the modelling lamp to help us pre-visualise the set up.

lighting-diagram-1396359272

 

Once we had recreated these two images we decided to try one of our own.

Still Life
Still Life

Using the Oranges we had bought, an old wine bottle and a book I arranged the objects as in the image above. We also borrowed a patterned scarf which we used as a base and I felt this really added texture. I tried other styles with the book lying flat but this left a large black void, with the book stood up the overall balance felt better. I decided to use a large soft box modifier which I placed very close to the bottle. I was after a very soft light which although I wanted it to light the other objects I also wanted it to fall away quickly leaving the back ground black. I went with a small f/16 aperture so the light fell away quickly and set my exposure for the bottle, I also shot at the same height as the subject as the change in angle made everything more interesting.  I have added the lighting diagram below.

Wine bottle still life lighting Diagram
Wine bottle still life lighting Diagram

 

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