Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Found in Translation

The ART 120 Photography class had the opportunity to visit the President's House on campus for class Tuesday. The purpose was to explore ideas and techniques for lighting, along with location, in conjunction with our third project, "Capturing the Portrait." One idea discussed was how dramatic the resulting portraits looked by comparison to actually having been there and observing the shooting conditions. There was a remarkable change between what we saw and what the camera revealed. Ciera, above, is an example of utilizing a speedlight with an umbrella bounce and a little bit of ambient light control with shutter speed. The results are quite dramatic.

We began with single, existing light conditions. Above is a photograph of Sam near a large window on the shaded side of the house, producing soft, glowing light.

When exploring the house, I came upon a large window in the dining room draped with a thin curtain and realized this could make a dramatic silhouette, as seen with this shot of Trey above.

One more with Brandon using existing light, but this time not quite so diffused. The strong direct light, color, and pose remind me of something out of Gregory Crewdson's "Twilight" series (which can be found in the LRC, TR647.C74).

Two more photographs of Ciera, this time illuminated by hot lights. The first with a soft light from the top right, and in the second with the addition of an accent coming from behind on the left.

All in all, a good time experimenting with lighting techniques and ideas that might inform our decisions about how to photograph a thoughtful portrait.

Special thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Crouch for generously opening their home to us, and to Judy Rush for helping us coordinate the event.


Earl Grey said...

This project is an exciting way to learn about the abilities of the lighting to truly enhance content and context. Thanks for posting this, Darrell.

Let me also encourage students to sign up for DK's Special Topics class in the spring, which will focus on portraiture and lighting. Schedule of all Spring 2011 classes forthcoming soon.

Boris Zakic said...

look forward to seeing students projects based on these. thanks for posting this--