I have finally uploaded assignment 2 to Dropbox and sent the link to my tutor. At least I think I have! My internet connection is so slow at the moment, (roll on high-speed broadband which we are supposed to have by July 13) and I always doubt when something takes ages to download or upload, whether it worked or not. I have downloaded it again myself though and that seemed to work so fingers crossed.
This has been something of a challenge for me and not entirely enjoyable, in fact I’ve found the whole thing quite stressful. The way that my tutor wants stuff submitted has involved me having to download and familiarise myself with Dropbox and how to set up contact sheets of images in Lightroom which I could save as files rather than print! On top of that, my main computer has developed a problem and has had to go for repair. Everything is backed up and I also saved everything to do with this assignment onto a separate memory stick so that I could get this assignment finished but all in all I seem to have spent more time fiddling with ICT than on photography, hence the stress! I think I’m there now but only time will tell.
As far as the photographic assignment itself is concerned I said in my previous post that I felt I had got the wrong end of the stick early on and the more I think about it, the more I believe that to be true. I had to just go with what I’ve done though and will make any adjustments deemed necessary when I receive feedback from Dave.
For part 1 of the assignment I chose 4 different lighting situations as requested and took 6 sets of images;
2 each of bright sunlight shining through a window
and bright street scenes in the middle of the day,
and one each of an indoor scene lit by a desk lamp
and some shiny Christmas baubles also lit by artificial light.
Where I think I went wrong was that rather than taking 3 different shots within each scene, I took 3 the same, only altering the exposure or shooting angle or angle of the light in an attempt to get a well exposed shot where the camera and my eyes were seeing the same thing.
In each case I could see what was wrong with the three images I chose for submission and have reflected on how to improve on them but need to go back and take them all again to see if my ideas actually work.
The scene I chose to work on for part 2 was the snowdrop lit by a single desk lamp. I was least happy with the 3 shots I took for part 1 because both the background and the flowers were rendered grey. I also felt this scene provided more opportunity for experimentation and improvement for part 2 because I had more control of the lighting. This was also one scene that did not depend on bright sunny weather, of which we have had very little lately.
In order to change this from a high contrast scene to one of lower contrast I felt I needed to change the background so replaced the black card with green fabric.
I used silver foil under the flower to reflect the light back up onto the petals, used a reflector and then some fill-in flash on the opposite side from the lamp which was at a 45 degree angle above and to the right and diffused the main light with tissue paper.
To get a really low contrast image I decided to try a cream background and took a few more shots, adjusting the lighting as I had before and changing the position of the flower and the lamp. All of the shots were taken with a 105 macro lens and exposure set to manual which I found most useful because this series of shots required me to experiment with the exposure time so that the image was not under exposed and thus grey.
Finally, I decided to photograph some garlic as it was a very similar colour to the cream fabric of the background. I found that I needed to experiment with different lighting positions and exposures for this as I was shooting down on the scene. I used the desk lamp, diffused, to the left and above the scene and fill-in flash to the right and although this is probably the best of the images I took, I haven’t managed to eliminate the shadows entirely. In each of the above settings, I found the histogram and highlight clipping warnings on the camera really useful. The latter being something that I didn’t know existed before I started this unit.