Edging Forward in Photo 111

Going into this shoot I had a solid idea of what I wanted for my composition. I had made sketches of my ideas and chose to merge two of them into a final image. Unlike with the group projects, I did think about the idea of having elements that extend outside of the frame to suggest that there is more to the scene. I thought of this when drawing the ideas for this assignment. (I consider this an improvement to my planning over what I have done previously.)

The part that I had trouble conceiving was how I would light the subject. Sadly, this seemed to be what I had problems with throughout the shoot. My original lighting was a spectacular example of a flat image. With a back and forth between Erik’s help, my adjustments, and more of Erik’s help, I was able to arrange lighting that gave more interest to the scene.

I will be honest, I am not sure that I succeeded. My image seems to be “off.” Perhaps I need to research more to understand why I feel my image is not quite what I wanted. Yet the question, I would have to ask is, what was it that I wanted? Honestly, I don’t care if my image gets torn apart in the upcoming critique because I really want as much critical examination of my image as possible. I feel like I made a good try but came up short and somehow lack the experience to articulate why.
I would say that I have made improvement over the last assignment in that I was better prepared for my assignment by having better props and concept, yet my concept of how I intended to light it and the execution of that lighting still fell short of what I would want from myself.

What I learned, I think, is that some of what I saw as defects in my lighting as I went along were things that my instructor also saw, thus confirming to me my impressions of the developing photograph. The most interesting thing that I learned was that I could bounce a strobe off of the ceiling to create a fill for my scene. I have done this with an on-camera flash before, but I had not considered this for use in a studio environment. The thing that most concerns me with these studio assignments is that there are so few assignments one can complete in a single quarter, and I feel like I really need to practice lighting much more than what we do in class. I feel like I must put in more time into learning outside of class experimenting with different setups. My only concern is that there is other classes that use the studios on other days, and I am not sure when I can take up studio time without encroaching on another class. I suppose I might need to talk Erik (since he is the one teaching the other classes that could be affected) and perhaps use the portrait studio with a location kit if that is necessary.

As I said, I am not satisfied with how much I have learned yet with how to light a scene, and if there is one thing that I want to learn in this photography program that I did not feel I could learn as well on my own, it is lighting. If after the two years of this program, I were to feel that I did not have at least good control at conceiving and executing the lighting of a scene by my own expectations of myself (which tend to be high), then I would be disappointed. I have no intention of letting myself down on this one. It is one of the primary reasons I took a photography program rather than study YouTube videos. I am still happy to be here and hope to understand more as the days and months progress.