Softening the Light

I had to take two photos, one using just a naked light, the second using a diffuser, in this case a piece of tracing paper.

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Initally I took a photo of my amethyst gemstone, the object I am intending to use in the assignment, I shot in daylight in my room but shut the curtains and blinds. The darkness still wasn’t very apparent but I went ahead using my desk lamp with the tracing paper and acetate at parts. I was confused why the effect of the diffuser wasn’t shown and decided to try again the next day.

I researched diffusers, the effect it has and set to work. To me I was working with my indoor photo studio and collection of lights. To my family who kept wondering why the lights kept going off, I was lying in the porch with my head in a giant printer box with my iPhone torch and a scrap piece of cardboard. 😛

This time I could see the effect immediately which I was extremely pleased with as if it hadn’t worked then I was going to sit in the loft with the hatch shut, not the most calming of thoughts.

First I placed a piece of fossil in the box and used my torch which my Dad held up for me. It was quite dark and I realised I placed the stone against a similar patterned carpet which sent the camera a bit crazy but I persevered changing ISO and aperture and eventually got the photo. 

It’s slightly blurred by the effect I wanted is there. The shadows are so harsh and black on the original without a diffuser whereas the shadow fades away in the second one. 

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I wanted to experiment with different angles, like front on to get some ideas for the assignment. I decided to use the inbuilt flash on the camera. The flash has wiped away detail, washing it in an overexposed effect.

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In the photo with the tracing paper placed to the inbuilt flash I was surprised at the deeper warmer colours, the flash hasn’t washed any of it out. I love the warm colours. The only thing I’m confused about is the shadow, I thought it was meant to be softer but if anything the contrast is more. Still, it is an effect I like and amazing the difference a bit of tracing paper can create.

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I followed on with two more photos of a different object with a wide view point noting the same effects.

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While I was doing this I experimented with placing my iPhone with the torch behind the subject. The iPhone case is a camera so I placed a strip of cardboard in front of it, piercing a hole in the front for the torch to get through.  It was essential to do this as I’m going to be using it for the assignment to show shape/form. The dust in the box and jet cat was illuminated giving a ring of light exactly what I wanted. But there’s a problem, I need to find a way for everything in the box to be darker, the cardboard is not the cave effect I am intending for. I think I’ll experiment with black paper around the box.

The photo shoot ended though not a moment too soon as Arran, my box loving cat spotted her new home for the day and politely told me to get lost.

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I really enjoyed this exercise, as I do all of them. Onwards to the next exercise. 😀

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