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Chapter 4 Assignments

Analyzing hard versus soft light

Make a game of analyzing the light you see on an everyday basis. Determine if it is hard light or soft light. Then take note of the light source’s size and distance from the people it’s illuminating. With a little practice you’ll be able to identify different qualities of light automatically.

Exposing for high-contrast lighting

Work with your different camera modes to properly expose a person who is heavily backlit. Turning your subject’s back to the sun is an easy way to get even lighting but is difficult for your camera to calculate. Set your camera to Spot Meter, and then place the spot sensor on your subject’s face to get a proper meter reading.

Working with a silver reflector

Practice working with a silver reflector on your own. On a sunny day use a silver reflector to paint light onto a wall. Hold the reflector up high and use the bottom edge of the reflector to aim the light. Now practice doing this at different distances from the wall. Bouncing light is just like practicing your bank shot on a pool table.

Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/portraitsfromsnapshotstogreatshots

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