For this exercise I was asked to set up a simple still life and take a series of specific photographs to teach me about contrast and shadow fill. The additional materials needed were a piece of large white card and tin foil, to function as reflectors.
I set up the shoot as follows; (shooting from the same level as the subject) with the camera on a tripod, my light source (as I do not own a flash) two-three feet level to one side of the subject. I will add the reflectors a little bit later.
I was to take the first photograph without a diffuser in front of the light source, and the second with a diffuser. See my images below.
Already I can see a difference between these two images. The first photograph is a lot more harsh in terms of shadow, and light. The light in the second photo appears to be more evenly spread, its the diffuser which is creating this effect.
Lets see what happens when the reflectors are added.
The closer the reflector from the subject the more ‘shadow fill’ is achieved.
From the above images I can see that the more contrasty shots, are the non diffused, no reflector photos. I have learned that this is because more light leaks around the subject from the larger area of the diffused light source.
I have really enjoyed this exercise as it has given me a little taste of how to control light rather than just work with what’s available. I can put this into practice with other mini projects that I set myself and experiment to create the effect that I desire.
As I don’t own a flash I have improvised and used an office lamp for my light source, although at first I thought this may not be suitable, it seemed to do the trick.