Selecting the right lighting

I had bit of a struggle to get my vision expressed at 365 photos. Therefore I decided to run a small experiment on how to light up a setting at "home studio" (living room). During the process I learned a lot, thanks to Michal Havelka 🙂 …

First of all, let's have a look where all this started. I took the following picture in a hurry, and just used what was easy and quick to use. There's so called "pinhole artistic filter" on my Olympus E-450, which let you take "unique pictures" (promised on advertisements). Although, I wonder how long it will be unique after it becomes popular 😉

Anyway, the problem in this picture is that I went to fix the white balance, which totally ruined the tones of original picture. Moreover, there are a lot of disturbing elements on background, which only ruins the whole picture.

Next attempt is to shoot again using the same on-camera pinhole filter, but not to adjust the white balance, and rearrange the setting with less things on background. This I think, is much better. This is pretty close what I wanted to achieve. The crane looks a bit threatening because of dark corners and frog is also hiding behind the shadow of tree because the light is coming from front.

The only problem still is that I have no original where's no effects used at all. Therefore there's not much one can do to save the image afterwards if the preselected effect does not satisfy.

Alternatively the vignetting can be done on software. Here's a quick attempt to just add black transparent layer where's hole cut and gaussian blur used. The tones aren't however very pleasing.

An interesting suggestion is to use flash to get the crane and background look more gloomy. Moreover, I was advised to use so called "flashbox" to make the light of flash soft and suitable for closeup photography. One problem when using built-in flash on closeup photos is the shadow casted by the lens. This is because the flash is not far enough from the camera body. But when simple flashbox is made by wrapping a piece of gleaming paper around the flash, this shadow of the lens problem can be avoided.

This version is quite nice. Now the shadow of tree casts over the crane, thus making it more threatening, just as I wished. However, the frog is no longer hiding in shadows, which was not what I wanted in the first place.

The final attempt is to use a bit more "professional method" to add a vignette. Here's no visible dark corners but the crane is now dark and much more frightening sight for the poor frog. Luckily frog has escaped from the crane and is hiding in the shadow of tree 😀

UPDATE: Here's the original photo where's no vignetting. Only the white balance is corrected in this one.

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8 thoughts on “Selecting the right lighting

  1. Michal (Bluno), I'm very grateful for all your feedback 🙂 I have learned a lot, thanks to you.

  2. Sami, this is perfect :up: p.s. I like it all. Originally I did not know. What should be the result of your (original) photo. I did not like the background (was it interfering), but the idea was excellent! :up:

  3. Wow, you get so very different results by tweaking just a few features. Very "ingénieux", the poor man's flashbox! :yes:

  4. It was like twenty years ago that I last messed around with a real camera. :doh:.Boy, do I miss those days. :yes:.

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