Exercise 4.3: Egg or Stone

For this exercise I chose to shoot a pepper as I felt that met the requirements of it being a natural object whilst also be more interesting to light than an egg.

For the project I used the lighting kit recently bought for my assignment. This kit is listed in my learning log should anyone wish to investigate a £50 lighting kit for themselves.

Using to soft boxes with 125w bulbs I set up the lights in three different configurations and switching them off in different orders to capture 9 different arrangements plus a single top lit shot for a full 10 images.

Overall I prefer the side kit images as the create more interest in the object by highlighting the texture and depth of the peppers bumps and valleys.

I can see how for something like product photography the double lit front position would be really good at displaying an object accurately but artistically I find this approach quite flat.

The images themselves were all shot with the same settings to maintain exposure across all lighting arrangements. By changing the amount of light and position of the lights this resulted in the pepper moving from over exposed to under exposed highlighting how light travels and moves around an object. I also noticed that with front lighting, surprisingly, less of the background was lit. This is due to the drop off of the light combined with the ability of the camera to capture a dark background behind a well lit focused object. This meant that on back lit shots the background is more visible and grey coloured disputes the background being black. The settings used were, 50mm, iso 100, f2.8 and 1/160 shutter speed. I chose 50mm as that is the prime Lens I have which has very good image reproduction with a fast aperture. I decided to use 2.8 as any lower would result in an extremely this focus area which would be difficult to use on this small object. Finally using 1/160 meant it was quick enough to counter any residual camera shake as I shot free hand, thankfully the Sony A7ii has inbuilt stabilisation which is quoted up to 4 stops of shake reduction, on a different camera body I may have stepped up the iso to allow for this shutter speed.

Processing the images I applied the same white balance and tint settings across all images which has resulted in a consistent appearance for the pepper but it has caused slight variations in the blacks. I suppose this is caused by the green tinted bounce from the pepper itself as well as any leaking light from the surrounding environment. If I was shooting for an assignment I could correct this in processing and also spend more time on the initial setup to ensure consistency in the setup. Finally for processing, I adjusted the exposure settings to ensure the peppers had consistent exposure across all the images to allow me to evaluate the pattern. I found that as I shoot images in raw this gives me more latitude for corrections and by allowing the under exposure I can maintain the consistency of depth of field without having the start boosting iso which can introduce noise which would be very evident on a still life such as this.

Left & right 90 degree place 45 head angle

Left 90 degree place 45 head angle

Right 90 degree place 45 head angle

Above single light

Right rear 45 degree place 45 head angle

Left rear 45 degree place 45 head angle

Rear right & left 45 degree place 45 head angle

Front 45 degree left & right place 45 angle head

Right front 45 degree place 45 head angle

Left front 45 degree place 45 head angle

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Harley Bainbridge Photography

Event and Portrait Photographer Manchester 



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