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This chapter is from the book

Chapter 1 Assignments

Direction—Exploring the Compass

Put your camera on a tripod and point it at a patient friend sitting on a stool. Then, using a hard light source (shop light, small flash, etc.), make a series of headshots with the light circling around the subject so that you can see how the position of the light changes the shadows.

Intensity—Creating Shape by Dimming the Light

Light a friend or an object with a pair of identical light sources. Position them 45° to the left and right of your subject so that the light is balanced. Take a shot. Now, turn down one light or move it farther back. Take another shot. How does the appearance of the subject change between the two shots?

Color—Setting White Balance on Your Camera

Set your camera’s white balance to Daylight. Photograph a friend or an object under several different light sources. Does the color of the image change as the source changes? Repeat the series with your camera set to Auto White Balance.

Contrast—Filling Shadows to See Detail

Photograph a friend or an object under direct sunlight—with the sun coming from behind the subject. Now turn on your camera’s flash or use a white card to bounce light into the shadows. Make another photograph. How does the detail in the shadows change?

Hardness—Making Soft Light from Hard Light

Photograph a friend or an object with a direct (hard) light source. Now diffuse the light by putting a semi-transparent material between the light and the subject. A white sheet or a white garbage bag should work. How do the edges of the shadows change as you modify the apparent size of the light source?

Share your results with the book’s Flickr group!

Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/lightingfromsnapshotstogreatshots

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