Due to my health and the fact that sunset is even later than it was before so I have next to no chance to be able to go and photograph them. However, there is no way I am missing them but I won’t use older photos either. My tutor, Sam Henderson suggested I take the photos inside for some of the night exercises as the lighting is the same. So today I am setting up my own indoor mini sunset.
This was a possibility but I wasn’t sure it was going to be what I needed from a photography point of view. So instead I decided to try and replicate my own.
My initial idea was to have a torch shone over a piece of black card to replicate the landscape. To create the spreading rays I would use a reflective material. I needed a tiny subject as the sun was going to be quite small as well. I chose an silver owl charm that had fallen off my bracelet and was waiting to be put on.
My ‘studio’ was the space underneath the computer on the table. The printer was the base but it gave a reflection so I placed some grey/black card to prevent this. I positioned my IPhone with the torch on, placed some coloured handmade paper over the beam and took the photo. It took several attempts with the macro so I could reproduce the sun more effectively. Eventually I got the effect I wanted. I switched between cloudy and daylight white balance to strengthen the orange sun as the light I was using was a white LED. Coupled with the papers the effect was very strong.
Shooting straight into the ‘sun’ the owl was in silhouette.
However, by placing the focal point over the owl, enough light was generated for the camera to retain detail in the owl. Therefore such a lighting can produce two different effects.
It can also be a way for using the light to cause your subject to dominate the composition. The eye is drawn to the lighter parts and with everything else in darkness it’s very effective.
This required a different set up as I’d have to be a stick insect to fit behind the printer. I set the piano stool up in the middle of the lounge, draped Dad’s black coat over it, then another blanket and crawled underneath. Apart from it being stifling, especially on such a warm day, but somehow light managed to get through gaps in the coat producing striking but distracting bokeh. Covered with a black pencil case I set up the initial shoot.
Feeling like I was in a oven I shone the torch from a side but it was weaker for some reason, despite the darkness. As such, I’m not especially pleased with this photo and the owl seems rather over exposed. Most of the area is in darkness producing a way of singling out the main focal pony. It looks like the owl is standing by an open door.
For edge lighting I needed the sun at the edge of the photo but not actually appearing in the photo. This way, the light from the sun illuminates the subject with an almost dreamy effect.
I wasn’t as pleased with this photo, it seemed flat and lifeless but the lighting effect is there. With the sun over the shoulder, the subject is illuminated in light and detail is retained throughout.