Photographic Lighting: Week 5

I missed the 4th week of photography class, so I'll jump right into week 5.

This week in class, we started using soft boxes - which are big boxes of fabric you put over a light to direct all the light in one direction. There's a flat white part where the light emits, which diffuses the light.

After we had gotten the hang of taking photos with the lights, the instructor came over and told us to start playing with the edge of the light. Essentially, this means positioning the soft box so that the light is not focused (in the least) on the subject. You end of just catching the edge of the soft box light on the subject. It was a really nice effect.

For our homework, we were to focus on subjects in motion - either capturing blur in the photo or stopping action in progress. This turned out to be very difficult for me. I spent an afternoon at Union Square. It turns out this wasn't so smart. It was midday, and in order to take a blurry shot, I had to use a long shutter speed. There was too much natural light to pull it off. I went to the dog run hoping to catch some dogs playing, but all the dogs were sitting serenely at their owner's sides. I looked for skateboarders, but there was only one. I got a couple of shots for class anyway, but I threw away the vast majority of photos I took.

I also tried an evening photo shoot of Kevin lighting a cigarette. It didn't come out at all like I thought. I thought I was going to get these great streaks of light. It didn't happen. I was happy with one of the photos none-the-less, but not because it was a great example of motion photography.

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The first review of my homework for my photography lighting class went well. He gave me a specific challenge: to photograph objects instead of people. I clearly enjoy photographing people and he wanted us to start working outside of our comfort zone.
I'm a bit behind on my posts about photography class. Week 6 was all about black and white photography. I was hoping to bring in some male nudes, but all of my friends were shockingly prudish! I'm trying to figure out if that's because in the age of the internet, people just don't want someone to take nude photos of them. Or perhaps none of my friends trust me. Or perhaps the younger generation just isn't as comfortable stripping for art. Hmmm...