Exercise- How space changes with light

Take one or two locations where you can conveniently return a number of times in different lighting, and photograph on each occasion. Take two variations. In one, set the camera up in exactly the same position each time. In the second, see how the different lighting conditions suggest different viewpoints and compositions.

I chose to use a little shed in my back garden for this exercise as it was easy to return in different lighting situations. In both variations I captured the shot firstly during the midday sun, and then returned when it was beginning to get dark. This provided me with two stark comparisons each time.

Variation one: Camera set up in the exact same position each time. First of all I captured the door to the shed from the inside. This showed well how the lighting reflected off the shed door differently at each time of day. In image one, we see that the light is reflecting off the door quite a lot; especially in the bottom left corner, and the shadows are minimal. However, we notice that in the second image taken just before nightfall, that the reflections are reduced greatly, and the shadows have deepened dramatically. Another difference in these two images caused by lighting is the colour of the door itself. In image one the door appears a green colour; this being the accurate and actual colour of the door. However, in image two the door appears grey and dull; an incorrect representation of the actual colour of the door. This highlights how lighting can change colour, contrast, and shadows, even inside a building, making identical scenes appear hugely different in different lighting conditions.

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Variation Two: Showing how different lighting conditions result in different compositions and viewpoints. In the next image I wanted to show a little more of the shed. I included the window in the frame in order to provide myself with a more challenging exposure. We see that the shot is focussed on the door handle (now from a different angle, this time giving the viewer an opposite view of the room to the previous set of shots). I exposed solely for the inside of the room, and not the window. We see that the inside of the building is lit nicely at this time of day, but the window is blown out. We then come to image two. It was now pretty dark outside, and the lighting inside the shed was very poor; so I couldn’t get a long enough exposure to light the inside of this building. Therefore I had to think again about what angle would be best to approach the shed from. The inside of the shed was very dark; but I still wanted to capture the window in the shot, and get the essence of this little shed at night. Therefore, I adjusted my angle; getting low to the ground and pointing the camera directly up at the window so as to get just the sky in the background; creating a strong contrast between the window frame, leaves and the sky. This has resulted in a nice silhouette, showing off the shape of the window, the silhouette seems to leak into the surroundings of the shed nicely; leaving the remainder in blackness where the frame finally finishes. The stark contrast between these two shots shows how different lighting conditions require varying compositions, angles and techniques. They also provide the photographer with different creative ideas in conjunction with the light available. It is hugely important to be creative and think on the spot when it comes to working with varying lighting.

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